Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined world leaders at the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator on July 14, asking for high resolve to promote Asia-Europe co-operation and integration.
The forum, themed “Connectivity for Inclusive Growth”, was among the events in the run up to the two-day 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit started on July 15. It drew 600 representatives of leading businesses across the two continents, including Vietnam Airlines Corporation, the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (first, left) delivers his speech at the closing ceremony of the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum in Ulan Bator__Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA
As the first leader to give a speech at the AEBF’s closing session, Prime Minister Phuc highly valued the forum’s role in enhancing Asia-Europe business partnerships and improving the business climate. He also highlighted enterprises’ significant contributions to the continents’ all-round development and stature.
He described businesses as the growth engine of Asian and European economies, stressing their role, especially that of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in job creation.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister called on the participating leaders to help SMEs to integrate and take part in global value chains.
He asked Asian and European nations to take the lead in sustainable trade and investment cooperation mechanisms within ASEM to cope with such challenges as poverty that is caused by unfair trade, development gaps between countries and climate change, and to ensure the sustainable development of each member country.
He also asked for continued support for partnerships and free trade agreements (FTAs) among countries in Asia and Europe such as the ASEAN Community, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and EU-ASEAN and India- ASEAN cooperation.
The ASEM member nations are very important partners of Vietnam during its reforms, development and international integration, Phuc said.
“Nineteen out of 25 strategic and comprehensive partners of Vietnam are ASEM members, accounting for 70 percent of foreign investment in and foreign trade with Vietnam. About 80 percent of international tourists to the country are from ASEM nations,” he said.
Vietnam has signed and is negotiating 16 FTAs, 14 of which are with ASEM partners, he said, adding that it inked an FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union in June 2015. It is working closely with other ASEAN member states to promote a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU and an FTA between the two blocs.- (VNS)