AEC site launched to guide firms

Thursday, Dec 29, 2016 09:14

Vietnamese businesses can now access all important legal documents of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on, which was launched yesterday. — VNS Photo Thanh Hai

Vietnamese businesses can now access all important legal documents of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on, which was launched on December 28.

The portal, launched by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), was introduced at a seminar on Viet Nam and AEC, held by the VCCI and British Embassy Hanoi in the capital.

The portal, which has both Vietnamese and English versions, will give businesses detailed instructions and guidelines on how to read and understand the AEC’s legal agreements on goods, services and investment. It will also provide businesses with the latest information on Viet Nam.

Speaking at the seminar, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of VCCI’s Centre for WTO and Economic Integration, said the portal had been launched as only a moderate number of Vietnamese businesses understand the AEC thoroughly. This came to light after the VCCI conducted a survey in April to gauge what enterprises know about trade agreements such as the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the AEC.

The survey revealed that while 94 per cent of the 250 participating businesses knew about the AEC, only 16 per cent understood it clearly. Meanwhile, 88 per cent, 83 per cent and 77 per cent of the enterprises surveyed knew about the VKFTA, TPP and EVFTA, respectively, but again the percentage of those who understood the details of these agreements was low.

“We found that it is not because our businesses are passive or lazy, but that they don’t know how to access such important information to develop business overseas,” Trang said, adding that as a result, Vietnamese enterprises had failed to make use of the opportunities presented by the AEC.

“The portal will not only help Vietnamese businesses but also those from the ASEAN and other foreign countries who are looking for opportunities to develop business in Viet Nam,” Trang said.

Hoang Quang Phong, deputy chairman of VCCI, said the trade pacts were a sign of Viet Nam’s development and its success at globalisation, but while both the TPP and EVFTA have not come into effect, the AEC agreement was signed on November 22, 2015, and must be exploited.

Andrew Holt, first secretary and head of political and economic section of British Embassy Hanoi, said the AEC was the first community established in Asia with a total GDP of around US$3 trillion from its 10 member countries. The ASEAN expected the AEC to create a highly competitive environment that would help integrate the region deeper into the world economy. — VNS

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