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Viet Nam Today
Minister stresses VN’s role in AEC Chairmanship
01-27-2010, 03:55 pm

As ASEAN Chair, Vietnam will spare no efforts to join with bloc members to obtain new achievements on the way towards a prosperous, peaceful and stable ASEAN Community.

The statement was made by Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang in his new year’s message on the country’s role in its capacity as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Chair in general and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Chair in particular.

Vietnam officially undertook the Chairmanship of ASEAN on January 1, 2010, coinciding with the year the country celebrates the 15th anniversary of its membership, Minister Hoang said.

As AEC Chair, Vietnam work with economic agencies identified as ‘pillars’ of growth for the association to organise a series of activities such as the AEC Council meeting, economic ministerial meetings, and other related events.

Minister Hoang said Vietnam sees its elevated role as both a great honour and an important responsibility in advancing the process of regional cooperation towards the bloc’s goal of establishing an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

As a main pillar of the ASEAN community, the AEC aims to create a single market, in which the distribution of goods, services, capital and skilled labourer will be designed to maximise overall prosperity, creating a strong impetus for the economic restructuring of Vietnam as well as other ASEAN members.

ASEAN’s determination is clearly and fully demonstrated in its master plan and strategic roadmap to implement the AEC by 2015, he added.

The Minister noted this year’s important milestones along the road to building the AEC. The region will remove all tariff and non-tariff barriers in 2010. Taxes on almost all ASEAN goods will be reduced, exempted or removed, with 97 percent of items being taxed at zero to 5 percent.

The bloc will also focuses on facilitating trade and construction of a common trade management mechanism in this year.

Regional economic integration work, by necessity, in combination with the development of the world economy, Minister Hoang said. So, ASEAN must always attach importance to expanding economic cooperation with other countries in the region and the world as well.

The group has set up official political dialogues with 12 major partners, of which six countries have established free trade areas with ASEAN, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The other partners--the US , the European Union and Russia —are actively bolstering close economic cooperation with the bloc.

Hoang expressed his wish for further support from ASEAN members, the ASEAN Secretariat, partners and international friends of Vietnam during its term as ASEAN Chairman.

Since becoming an ASEAN membership in 1995, Vietnam has been fully and responsibly participating in all ASEAN activities, thus contributing to regional successes along the path to building a prosperous and dynamic community of reciprocity and cooperation.

ASEAN today is a political-economic entity closely connecting member countries, playing a key role in the regional, international issues and a reliable partner of many nations and organisations in the world.

The group is working towards building the AEC by 2015—a united community with three major pillars –Security and Politics, Economics and Society and Culture, operating within the mutually agreed-upon guidelines with the ASEAN Charter.

Established in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.


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