Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The 3rd ASEAN-EU Business Summit kicked off in Hanoi on March 9
with the participation of 700 businesses from the two regions.

As part of the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat and the 12th
ASEAN Economic Ministers-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations, the event
was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Opening the
summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the event creates conditions
for the business community in ASEAN and the EU to enhance cooperation
and links, and express their business expectations.

It
is even more significant in the context that ASEAN is on the last steps
to establishing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, he said.

As a coordinator between ASEAN and the EU, Vietnam supports the
development of more intense and effective trade and investment
cooperation between ASEAN and the EU in order to reach a new height, the
Government leader affirmed.

To reach this aim, the EU
and a number of ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, are negotiating
bilateral free trade agreements to create a firm ground for future
ASEAN-EU comprehensive cooperation, he said.

Since it
joined ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has been an active and responsible
member of the group, Dung said, citing the country’s contributions to
building ASEAN into a united and strong bloc for prosperity and
cooperation in the region.

He also affirmed ASEAN’s
important role in Vietnam ’s international integration policy, adding
that the country is becoming a gateway for international investors and
businesses to access and expand their investment in the region as well
as free trade markets between ASEAN and partners.

“We
praise and encourage the involvement of the business community in joint
efforts to enhance relations between the two blocs,” he said.

The PM described effective investment cooperation and the successful
operations of businesses as a foundation and important contribution to
ASEAN-EU relations.

Establishing the ASEAN Economic
Community (AEC) is the bloc’s chief goal, Dung said, noting that the
association’s efforts have been applauded by the business community.

The AEC is expected to create favourable conditions for the rotation
of investment flows and trade exchanges, and help businesses expand
operations, bringing great benefits to the 600 million people of ASEAN
countries.

The ten-nation association is also making
efforts to cooperate more intensively and extensively with partners in
the region and world.

ASEAN always attaches importance to working with the EU for sustainable development and common prosperity, Dung said.

Addressing the event, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said the
presence of many EU businesses here proves their attention to ASEAN.

He underlined the need for the two sides to facilitate investment,
coordinate closely and support businesses in order to realise their
common goals.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh
said despite risks caused by the global economy, ASEAN and the EU still
possess favourable conditions for economic development.

He called on the two sides to tighten their coordination to cope with the impacts of the global economic turmoil.

Minh highly valued the significant role of the private sector and
proposed that the Government encourages its participation in investment.

At the event, businessmen focused their
discussions on opportunities, challenges and experience in investment,
as well as running businesses in ASEAN.

They touch
upon a wide range of issues regarding agriculture, the auto industry,
financial services, information technology-telecommunications,
infrastructure, pharmaceutical products and healthcare.

ASEAN-EU trade and investment relations are developing positively with
two-way trade increasing to 234.8 billion USD in 2011.

In 2012, the EU topped the list of FDI investors in ASEAN and was ASEAN’s third largest trading partner.

The EU is Vietnam ’s second largest trading partner and leading importer of Vietnamese commodities.

Last year, bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU stood at 29.1
billion USD, of which Vietnam ’s exports to Europe accounted for 20.3
billion USD. Imports from the EU amounted to 8.8 billion USD.

Vietnam ’s major exports to the EU include footwear, garments and textiles, coffee, wood products and seafood.

By October last year, the EU had 1,781 FDI projects in Vietnam
with a total registered capital of 33.4 billion USD, predominately in
industry and construction.-VNA

By vivian