Tokyo workshop celebrates 50 years of ASEAN

Economically, ASEAN has moved from a less developed region to a much more prosperous and dynamic region and become a global trade and investment hub. This is reflected in the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 as one of three key pillars of the grouping. The AEC is an initiative to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, allowing free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and a freer flow of capital. It will help promote member nations’ presence in the global production and value chain, and allow them to enjoy more benefits from regional trade and investment. In general, the implementation of commitments to build the AEC has brought about many benefits to the Vietnamese economy. Opportunities The creation of a single market of 630 million consumers - half of them under 30, presents a huge economic opportunity. ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh said that the group has a combined gross domestic product of nearly US$2.6 trillion, which makes it the sixth largest economy in the world and the third in Asia, only after China and India. Since Vietnam signed the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), ASEAN has become Vietnam’s second trading partner, with an average growth rate of 14.5 percent over the past decade. Two-way trade between Vietnam and ASEAN has grown from about US$19 billion in 2006 to $41.36 billion in 2016. As a result, ASEAN is Vietnam’s third largest market and also the third largest…... [read more]

Figures show bilateral trade values between Viet Nam and ASEAN the in 2006-17 period. — Source: ASEAN Secretariat General Statistics Office of Viet Nam by Vo Tri Thanh* The year 2017 marks an important milestone for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN): the 50th anniversary of its establishment. For half a century, ASEAN has being growing strongly, recording significant achievements on the way. Economically, ASEAN has moved from a less developed region to a much more prosperous and dynamic region and become a global trade and investment hub. This is reflected in the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 as one of three key pillars of the grouping. The AEC is an initiative to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, allowing free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and a freer flow of capital. It will help promote member nations’ presence in the global production and value chain, and allow them to enjoy more benefits from regional trade and investment. In general, the implementation of commitments to build the AEC has brought about many benefits to the Vietnamese economy. Opportunities The creation of a single market of 630 million consumers - half of them under 30, presents a huge economic opportunity. ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh said that the group has a combined gross domestic product of nearly US$2.6 trillion, which makes it the…... [read more]

Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, of which the Kinh constitute the majority of the population. Most groups often reside in remote and disadvantaged areas with lower socio-economic development. Many Party and State programs have helped improve the living conditions of ethnic groups in the north-western region The Party and State have maintained a consistent policy of solidarity, equality, and respect between ethnic groups. Many national target programs have been launched to assist the minority population, such as program 134 on housing and farm land, program 135 on socio-economic development in remote areas and Resolution 30a on poverty reduction in the 62 poorest districts nationwide. H’Black, a Bana ethnic resident in the Central Highland province of Dac Lak, says Party and State programs for water and electricity supplies, roads, schools, and clinics have given the province a complete facelift. Local residents are learning how to apply technological advances to agricultural production. Now, 100 percent of the communes in remote, mountainous areas have medical clinics and primary schools. Ethnic minority languages are taught at more than 7,000 schools. The State has built boarding schools, providing free education and meals for thousands of ethnic people. Electricity and postal services are now available in all districts. Radio coverage reaches more than 90 percent of the country’s inhabited land with daily designated broadcasts in many ethnic minority languages. In an interview granted to VOV recently, Dang Dung Chi, Deputy Head of the Human Rights Research Institute of the Ho Chi Minh National Politics Academy, said…... [read more]

The Vietnamese Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung made the statement at a discussion on the potential of the East Asian industrial corridor and the effects of major transport infrastructure projects, which was on the agenda of the “Future of Asia” Conference in Tokyo on May 22. The Vietnamese government will develop its transport infrastructure to increase the efficiency of the East-West and North-South economic corridors, said Dung. He added that several corridors have been built and upgraded, including the East-West road connecting Vietnam to Laos and Thailand, the southern corridor connecting Vietnam to Cambodia and Thailand and the North-South road running from Hanoi through Hai Phong to China’s Kunming province. According to Dung, Vietnam’s industrial development is based on the principle of ensuring that development is equally distributed amongst the regions and links with major economic centres in neighbouring countries. The government will pay special attention to developing industry in the northern region, manufacturing in the central region and the oil industry in the southern region, he said. Participants in the discussion agreed that it is vital that Asian countries work together to develop transport links to improve the distribution of goods and services around the region. The “East Asian Industrial Corridor” initiative was put forward by the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry (METI) in August 2008 and developed by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).... [read more]

The book, published in Vietnamese and Korean, was translated from Vietnamese into Korean by Prof. Ahn Hee-wan, director of the Vietnamese Economic Research Institute, and edited by Prof. Bae Yang-soo from Pusan University of Foreign Studies. The book launching was attended by representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in the Republic of Korea, the Korean marriage matchmakers association (KMMA), and the multi-cultural family support centre. They observed one minute of silence to commemorate Vietnamese bride Thach Thi Hong Ngoc, 20, who was beaten to death by her Korean husband in Pusan port city not long ago. Representatives of KMMA and its affiliates vowed to abide by both the Korean and Vietnamese laws and ensure there will be no similar cases in the future. Prof. Ahn began to collect materials and translate the book in late 2008 under the auspices of Park Soo-kwan, Vietnam’s honorary General Consul in Pusan and Keangnam cities, and Koo Cha-yol, Vietnam’s honorary consul in Incheon and Kiengki cities. KMMA representatives said they will work with relevant agencies to popularise the book among families in Tegu and Pusan who have Vietnamese brides and among Korean men who plan to marry Vietnamese girls. KMMA is the only international marriage matchmaker licensed by the RoK Government.... [read more]

PM Dung highly valued Japan’s initiative to establish the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), in an effort to promote co-operation between the two countries in particular and between Japan and ASEAN in general. He expressed his desire to further strengthen co-operation in accelerating the implementation of three big projects: Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park, the north-south railway and expressway and to sign a trade and investment agreement between the two countries at the earliest. Mr Aichi affirmed his support for three co-operative projects in Vietnam and the coming signing of the trade and investment agreement between the two countries. He said that the ERIA is a research body that does policy analysis and research related to the three main pillars of East Asian economic integration: strengthening integration, bridging the development gap and achieving sustainable economic growth. Dinh Van An, head of the Vietnam Central Institute of Economic Management, was appointed to chairman of the ERIA management board. Currently, Japan is one of the biggest investors in Vietnam and one of the largest donors for Vietnam.... [read more]

Mr Khiem made the remark at the EAS Ministers Informal Consultations meeting in Singapore on July 22, which was echoed by other ASEAN Foreign Ministers and ASEAN’s partners (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea). Mr Khiem said EAS member countries should seek ways to overcome difficulties in the areas of energy and food supply, disaster management, epidemic prevention and environment protection. At the meeting, the EAS foreign ministers reviewed the implementation of decisions made at the ASEAN+3 Summit in November 2007, including the second-time declaration on cooperation in East Asia and the ASEAN+3 working plan from 2007-2017. They reaffirmed their commitments to fostering the ASEAN+3 cooperation process, considering this a key tool for the long-term goal of building the East Asian Community.The ministers also praised results of the study on the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia and on the establishment of an Economic Research Institute for ASEAN, which were decided at the third East Asian Summit. Bilateral talks on ASEAN sidelines Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem on July 22 had bilateral meetings with officials from China, Cambodia, Laos and Canada on the sidelines of the 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore. Mr Khiem, who is also Foreign Minister, met with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi to discuss bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern. Minister Yang praised Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh’s visit to China in early June, saying it took bilateral ties to a new level of comprehensive…... [read more]

The seminar was organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, the Asian Centre for 21st century vision, Harvard University, the Central Institute for Economic Management and Research and the Ministry of Planning and Investment. It attracted more than 200 foreign and domestic delegates, international organisations and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan who will propose policies and plans for co-operation and development to deal with regional challenges. The seminar focused on practical issues, such as Asia and the global economy, how to increase Asia’s average income and improve its social welfare network and measures to cope with natural disasters, energy security and climate change. These issues are also of concern to Vietnam as the country is building its social economic strategy and social welfare strategy for the 2011-2020 period. PM Dung pointed out that the global financial crisis and economic downturn still poses many challenges to the country’s sustainable development. East Asia in general and ASEAN in particular play an important role in global economic recovery and growth. Mr Dung said that the East Asia and ASEAN development model will help to minimise the macroeconomic imbalance, and ensure sustainable development. He stated that building a sustainable social welfare network is priority for East Asia and ASEAN. The negative impacts of the recent financial crisis, the current poverty gap and increase of average income groups have created many issues at national and regional levels. Efforts to reduce poverty and facilitate average income groups are important parts of the…... [read more]

The pledge was made at a seminar entitled “Upgrading Vietnam’s position towards AEC 2015 and beyond” in Hanoi on August 12 attended by many leading scholars and economists from the region. The seminar aimed to share experience and initiatives to grasp advantages of the AEC to overcome challenges in the future, like migrant labourers, institutional making and regulation reform. It provided a good chance for State agencies, private sectors and foreign experts to discuss important issues in ASEAN, such as developing small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and taking part in supply chain and international economic integration. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu said in the context of looking toward forming the ASEAN community, particularly the AEC by 2015, this is a forum to review progress to date and how it has impacted the country’s economy. ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh said since joining the AEC, Vietnam has recorded economic strong growth through inner-bloc investment and export promotion. From now to 2015 and post 2015, the ASEAN Community has many tasks to perform, particularly removing tariff barriers, enhancing investment appeal and bridging the development gap among regional countries, Minh said. The seminar is part of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) capacity building programme which has been carried out since 2008 in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam with a view to boosting integration among ASEAN member countries.... [read more]

The workshop was jointly hosted by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM). Difficulties lying aheadDr Vo Tri Thanh, a CIEM official, said that Vietnam is facing numerous difficulties in 2009, including the macro-level instability of finance and international payment as well as declining exports. The national economy which is slowing down as a result of tight macro-economic management policy is also bearing the brunt of the global economic crisis. The economy is expected to grow just 4-5 percent if the Government’s stimulus measures are put in place. In addition, the inflation rate is estimated to rise to between 6-9 percent and the trade deficit will make up 7-10 percent of the total GDP. “The loosening of macro-economic policy and the implementation of the stimulus package is necessary, but it has an impact on growth, employment, inflation and macro-economic stability,” said Dr Thanh. Chinese experienceAcademician Zhang Yunling, director of the international research department under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, shared the view that the global financial turbulence which originated from the US has made a direct and indirect impact on many countries in the world. He affirmed that China is experiencing an economic slowdown rather than a crisis because its economy is still developing and expected to achieve a GDP growth rate of 7-8 percent this year. For China, he said the global crisis mostly affects its exports. In his opinion, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan (China) would continue…... [read more]




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