Scrutinizing 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 Vietnam’s preparation for its involvement in the community was among the major themes up for discussion at a conference held on June 16 in Hanoi by the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Relations.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu said that the AEC 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 include seven commodities, including farm produce, aquatic products, electronics, wood products, rubber, automobiles, and garments and textiles, together with services, tourism, healthcare, aviation transport, information technology and logistics.
Tu said the formation of the AEC aimed to turn ASEAN into a common production base and market with free sale of goods, services, investment, skilled labor 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.
The participants were briefed on the elaboration and implementation of legal documents related to Vietnam’s integration process and legal harmonization within ASEAN.
They discussed the challenges and opportunities facing ASEAN after the bloc is formed, agreeing that the establishment of the AEC and the ASEAN Community would further forge links within the bloc.
They also underlined the need for Vietnam to step up communication efforts to raise public awareness and social consensus on the ASEAN Community, while participating in programs to enhance links within ASEAN and speeding up administrative reform, especially in trade.-