Vietnam is quickly preparing for the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, prioritizing the enhancement of local business performance.
After the establishment of the AEC, ASEAN, including 10 member states with 600 million people and a total GDP of 3 trillion USD, will become a common market and a united production facility. This will mark a massive inflow of goods from regional partners to Vietnam, and vice versa.
According to a representative from the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country has thus far cut tariffs imposed on most imports, as stipulated in several signed free trade agreements (FTAs), with the exception of a few sensitive commodities, such as cigarettes, beer, alcohol and steel.
Vietnamese exports, particularly agricultural products, will also benefit greatly from the FTAs that help lower cost of production materials and improve the quality of domestic manufacturing through their terms and conditions.
However, the prosperous opportunities afforded by the FTAs come hand-in-hand with challenges as playing field levels across Southeast Asian nations.
Nguyen Ngoc Luan, Chairman of the Saigon-ASEAN Entrepreneurs Club, said domestic enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized companies, will face significant difficulties competing with their regional peers, due largely to little-known trademarks, weak management and financial capacity.
Vu Kim Hanh, Chairwoman of the Business Association for High-quality Vietnamese Products, said the involvement of businessmen in preparations for the AEC in Vietnam is below that of other countries, such as Thailand and Singapore.
Meanwhile, there have been policies and initiatives devised by the Government to facilitate the integration process of local enterprises, but their implementation and impact have yet to be revealed, she added.
Le Thi Thanh Tam, Deputy General of Saigon Food JSC, voiced her request for additional support from the state for the private sector, including investments in technology advancement and trade promotion.
Đăng ký: VietNam News