ASEAN - a unified political-economic entity and trustworthy partner
17:10 | 27/01/2010

VGP – As Chairman of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Minister of Trade and Industry Vũ Huy Hoàng recently said that ASEAN already becomes an unified political-economic entity and trustworthy partner of a number of powers and organizations in the world.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vũ Huy Hoàng

During its ASEAN Presidency in 2010, Việt Nam will host series of meetings of ASEAN high-ranking economic officials and other related activities.

It is not only an honor but also a heavy task for Việt Nam to continue translating all the bloc’s cooperation frameworks into vivid concrete activities toward the AEC by 2015, Minister Hoàng said.

ASEAN is advancing to a common market and a unified regional production chain in which goods, services, capital and skilled labor force enjoy free movement to create a strong impetus for the economic structuring in Việt Nam and other ASEAN members as well.

According to the official, the year 2010 marks a milestone on the roadmap of the AEC development as the Association removes tariff and non-tariff barriers for over 99% of commodities. Particularly, over 97% of its goods will be taxed around 0-5%.

Measures for closer ASEAN connectivity in 12 prioritized fields, including garment and textile, rubber, footwear, automobile industry, agriculture, seafood, information technology, and tourism, will be finalized soon, stated Minister Hoàng.

Also in 2010, ASEAN starts implementation of important agreements like the Agreement on Trade in Goods, the Comprehensive Investment Agreement and its 7th Commitment Package on the liberation of trade in services, laying a firm legal background for further economic connectivity among ASEAN member countries in the coming years.

Mr. Hoàng revealed that this year, ASEAN will focus on facilitating trade and developing a united trade management mechanism.

A single ASEAN market can be formed only if trade procedures and rules of each member country synchronously meet with those of the rest. It requires greater efforts to realize the ASEAN Program on Trade Facilitation, form ASEAN one-stop shop mechanism, and set up a modern logistics system linking all the members.

ASEAN is likely to step out of the global economic downturn this year, confidently stated the official, emphasizing that it is time for ASEAN to discuss a proper model and feasible measures to secure its sustainable and balanced development with respect to social welfare and environment protection.

The Vietnamese Minister noted that ASEAN’s economic integration is closely connected to the world economy, so the bloc should attach importance to developing ties with the rest of the world. The Association has officially set up dialogue partnership with 12 countries, including six with FTAs, namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The bloc is planning to found a free trade area with East Asian partners under the frameworks of ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6. Partners like the US, EU and Russia are seeking ways to deepen economic ties with ASEAN while many others consider the bloc as a promising FTA partner.

Minister Hoàng reconfirmed Việt Nam’s whole-hearted efforts to create breakthroughs on the way to an ASEAN Community of prosperity, peace, stability and development.

He took the occasion to ask for stronger cooperation and assistance from all ASEAN members, the Secretariat, partners and friends around the world to Việt Nam’s successful fulfillment of the ASEAN Presidency.

By Hải Minh

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