HA NOI (VNS) — Scrutinising the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a pillar of the ASEAN Community that will be formed by the end of this year, and Viet Nam's preparation for its involvement in the community was among the major themes up for discussion at a conference held in Ha Noi yesterday.
Hosted by the National Assembly's Committee for External Relations, the event was held in preparation for a hearing on the process of building the ASEAN Community, which is scheduled for tomorrow.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu briefed participants on the nature of the AEC, saying that the community was a framework for deeper economic integration among ASEAN member nations, formed as the result of integration initiatives for 12 priority fields within ASEAN.
The 12 fields comprise seven commodities, including farm products, aquatic products, electronics, wooden products, rubber, automobiles, and textiles and garments, along with services, tourism, health care, aviation transport, information technology and logistics.
Deputy Minister Tu said that the formation of the AEC aimed to turn ASEAN into a common production base and market with free circulation of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and capital flow, while promoting balanced development among the group's member states, improving the competitiveness of the regional economy and boosting regional economic integration into the global economy.
A member of ASEAN since 1995, Viet Nam had participated in and suggested many initiatives that had contributed to the group. The country had also strictly implemented its commitments to the AEC's formation, and was among members that had completed the most commitments, according to the Deputy Minister.
At the conference, representatives from the NA's committees for External Relations, Economy, and Finance-Budget reported on the building and implementation of legal documents related to Viet Nam's integration process and legal harmonisation within ASEAN.
Participants discussed the challenges and opportunities facing ASEAN after the bloc is formed, concurring that the establishment of the AEC and the ASEAN Community would further forge links within the bloc.
They also underlined the need for Viet Nam to step up communication efforts to enhance public awareness and social consensus on the ASEAN Community, while participating in programmes to enhance links within ASEAN and speeding up administrative reform, especially in trade.
Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. — VNS