Over­com­ing chal­lenges to in­crease do­mes­tic com­pet­i­tive­ness lev­els

Ahead of the coun­try's in­te­gra­tion into the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity at the end of 2015 and in cel­e­bra­tion of Vieät Nam's 20th year as an ASEAN mem­ber, Viet­nam News Agency in­ter­viewed Trònh Minh Anh, deputy chief of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee for In­ter­na­tiona

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Uyeân Höông & Trang Nhung

Ahead of the coun­try's in­te­gra­tion into the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity at the end of 2015, Viet­nam News Agency in­ter­viewed Trònh Minh Anh, deputy chief of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion.

Vieät Nam of­fi­cially be­came the sev­enth mem­ber of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) on July 28, 1995.

In the past 19 years, Vieät Nam has not only ful­filled the obli­ga­tion of a bloc mem­ber but also con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to the re­gion's de­vel­op­ment.

What will the AEC bring to the re­gion, in­clud­ing Vieät Nam, in the con­text of un­cer­tainty in both the re­gion and the world?

The ma­jor sig­nif­i­cance is in its tar­get to cre­ate a frame­work for a higher level of eco­nomic co-op­er­a­tion. Cur­rently, both Vieät Nam and other ASEAN mem­bers hope to in­te­grate more deeply into the world. To do that, ASEAN must change it­self and strive for the goals of a sin­gle mar­ket and pro­duc­tion base. Along with that, the com­mu­nity is ex­pected to build a bal­anced eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment among the mem­ber coun­tries and link them closer to­gether to achieve eq­ui­table eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment as an in­te­gral part of the re­gion. The com­mu­nity also changes the com­pe­ti­tion en­vi­ron­ment in the re­gion. It helps in­crease the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the whole re­gion un­der the pres­sure of in­te­gra­tion from out­side.

How open will Vieät Nam's econ­omy be when the AEC takes ef­fect, and what is our in­te­gra­tion roadmap?

Eco­nomic open­ness is equal to the to­tal value of im­ports and ex­ports di­vided by GDP. Based on this, Vieät Nam ranks sec­ond in Asia in terms of eco­nomic open­ness. This de­gree of open­ness con­tin­ues to in­crease fol­low­ing our deeper eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion into the re­gion and the world, with par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ASEAN and World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO).

Vieät Nam's trade open­ness has al­ways been 155 to 160 per cent since 2007, with the high­est rate of 166 per cent recorded in 2011. A highly open econ­omy like Vieät Nam will also im­prove when it achieves AEC goals in 2015 and ex­e­cutes its com­mit­ments un­der the ASEAN and WTO frame­works, as well as takes part in other in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic agree­ments.

How­ever, we will need more time to find out how the im­por­t­ex­port struc­ture and in­vest­ment cli­mate of Vieät Nam will change and what the cal­cu­la­tion of ASEAN and Viet­namese econ­o­mists will be. It is hoped that Vieät Nam's econ­omy will be­come more open, with the in­sti­tu­tion­al­i­sa­tion of poli­cies and reg­u­la­tions to ac­com­plish the goal of join­ing the AEC in 2015.

What op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges await Vieät Nam's econ­omy and busi­nesses after join­ing the AEC?

Any in­te­gra­tion will bring more ben­e­fits than chal­lenges, un­less none of the coun­tries will take part. How­ever, Viet­namese en­ter­prises as well as other ASEAN busi­nesses need to limit chal­lenges and in­crease op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The top is­sue is to sig­nif­i­cantly lower tar­iffs that will raise Vieät Nam's ex­port val­ues. In ad­di­tion, busi­nesses can gain ac­cess to larger mar­kets out­side ASEAN. At present, ASEAN has signed six free trade agree­ments (FTA) with big part­ners in the re­gion and the world. Thus, our en­ter­prises can ex­tend their reach to other mar­kets to raise ben­e­fits.

En­ter­prises should also take

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