VN should be more prepared for ASEAN integration

Friday, Nov 13, 2015 18:06

Economists and scholars think Viet Nam should be more prepared for ASEAN Economic Community. — Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Scholars and economists discussed the preparation and readiness of Vietnam towards the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in a forum co-organised by the Centre Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) and School of Public Policy under the University of Tokyo.

The AEC, which is planned to set up by year end, is in one of the most promising regions in the world for future opportunity as ASEAN is a single market of 600 million people with a combined GDP of almost US$3 trillion.

Nguyen Hong Son, Rector of the University of Economics, Vietnam National University said AEC aimed to support the development of micro-enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, the application of digital technology, enhance governance and green technology. Associations and research institutes play an advisory role, supporting the integration process for the next 10 years.

Son said though the local business environment has improved significantly in recent years, it was lower than others in the region.

Meanwhile, Professor Toshiro Nishizawa, from the School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo said Vietnam had great potential for development, emphasizing that AEC can be a key driver of new growth for the country.

The professor also pointed to some challenges for the country such as the difficulties of small and medium-sized enterprises, financial capacity and low-skilled labor force, thinking that Viet Nam, should spend ten years or more to overcome all the challenges.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, CIEM chairman, even said the development motivation of Vietnam was lower than it was ten years ago as many businesses were not ready for economic integration with their limited knowledge and lack of interest and prepared for integration.

Economic expert Pham Chi Lan said that 70 per cent of SMEs were not involved in import-export, they did not feel the pressure of integration. At the same time, they, on the other hand, were struggling to survive in the local business environment.

Lan said economic policies to help the SMEs should be operated in reality rather only on paper, hoping that Japanese partners could create linkages to promote growth in the ASEAN region.

CIEM said after 2015 when the country gets deeper into ASEAN integration, it should work more actively to take full advantage of the opportunities for developing capacity building for the business environment as well as the scientific and technological area.

The forum also concluded that Vietnam needs to enlist the support of the international community to build stronger partnerships and partner relationship. — VNS

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