Forum hears of efforts made in AEC integration and where greater focus in needed.
The Central Institute for Economic Management and the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Tokyo held the Vietnam - Japan Emerging Researchers Forum: “Partnership Opportunities for Vietnam’s Successful Inclusion in the ASEAN Economic Community” in Hanoi on November 13, identifying the opportunities, challenges, and incentives for the country to expand and strengthen its comprehensive relations with regional partners.
Vietnam has implemented its integration commitments relating to investment in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the forum heard. The government has reviewed and amended laws and regulations to make them consistent with commitments to establish a more open and liberalized investment environment without discriminatory treatment, such as expanding investment sectors, improving investment protection, implementing regulations on economic ownership, and facilitating and simplifying investment procedures. Resolution No. 19 from the government on key tasks and measures to improve the business environment and enhance competitiveness also express the country’s continued efforts to improve its business environment.
However, according to Prof. and Dr. Nguyen Hong Son from the University of Economics and Business at the Hanoi National University, Vietnamese enterprises remain passive and inadequately prepared for AEC integration. “Awareness among enterprises on the general issues in the AEC remains insufficient, with inadequate recognition of the opportunities and challenges,” Mr. Son told the forum. “Most enterprises recognize the opportunities from exporting to other countries, while other opportunities such as low input costs, access to new technology, cooperation with other ASEAN countries, and new capital resources are inadequately recognized.” Enterprises are mainly concerned about competition from increased trade, and as a result are not fully prepared for integration into the AEC.
Economic expert Ms. Pham Chi Lan, meanwhile, said that complicated customs procedures, the huge number of taxes and fees, unfair competition between State-owned and private enterprises, and weak institutional connections are obstacles to Vietnam’s development. “Cambodia and Laos has recorded solid performances, with higher growth than in Vietnam, and the distance between Vietnam and other developing countries is quite large,” she said. “After 20 years of ASEAN membership, Vietnam is sadly still in the CLMV (Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam) group of countries.”