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Jul 27, 2022 / 17:49

Vietnam strives to be a leading ASEAN investment hub: President

Vietnam was listed among the top 20 foreign direct investment (FDI) recipients in 2021.

Vietnam attempts to become one of the leading member states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in terms of the business environment.

 Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) on July 27. Photo: VNA

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared the view at the 3rd meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) held in Ha Long City, Vietnam’s Northern Province of Quang Ninh on July 26-29.

Vietnam is striving to move towards Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards. “It would be an opportunity for us to welcome and encourage ABAC businesses to come to Vietnam for mutual benefit and development,” Phuc said at the event on July 27.

Vietnam appears to be an attractive destination for leading investors and is home to nearly 35,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total capital of US$430 billion, according to information shared at the event which gathered 150 representatives from 17 APEC economies.

According to the United Nations, Vietnam was listed among the 20 leading countries for FDI inflows in 2021.

Vietnam has joined 15 free trade agreements (FTAs), including new-generation FTAs, which include matters that are considered “non-commercial” such as labor, environment, commitment to sustainable development, and good governance, for example, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA).

Phuc said Vietnam is a friendly and safe country with an attractive investment environment, adding that the presence of ABAC delegates and entrepreneurs conveys an encouraging message to Vietnam.

Despite the Covid-19 impact, Vietnam has maintained macroeconomic stability and continued economic recovery programs with strong GDP growth that is forecast to exceed 6% in 2022 and 7.2% in 2023.

In the second quarter of 2022, Vietnam’s trade turnover increased by 23% to nearly $670 billion, placing the country in the group of top 20 countries with large trade values.

In early June 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that by 2025, Vietnam will climb to third place in Southeast Asia in terms of economic scale with a $570-billion GDP.

 Overview of the meeting held in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam on July 26-29. Photo: Diendandoanhnghiep

Role of ABAC

ABAC was held ahead of the week-long APEC Summit to take place in Thailand in November 2022. At the meeting in Ha Long City, ABAC will issue a number of recommendations for APEC leaders to make critical decisions to facilitate businesses and promote investment and trade liberalization.

This session is an important event for the ABAC to develop a business recommendation report, which will be submitted to Finance and Trade ministers and Bank Governors in the preparation for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting at the APEC 2022 Summit.

ABAC was established by APEC Leaders in 1995 for the reason that commerce is the lifeblood of the region and business is the engine of economic growth. Therefore, ABAC highlights the integral role of business and the value of representative business advice on key issues.

Addressing the ABAC, Phuc said he expected ABAC participants to have new initiatives to boost trade and investment within the APEC member states with an aim to reconnect the broken supply chain, boost cooperation in manpower, and support green energy and renewable energy-based economy.

“I look forward to ABAC coming up with many new, effective and practical suggestions, initiatives and solutions to increase trade and investment in APEC,” Phuc said, noting that Vietnam and other APEC economies always appreciate and support the initiatives.

Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Executive Director of APEC Secretariat, said Vietnam’s hosting of the 3rd session of ABAC is highly appreciated by the international community as the topics selected for discussions are those of special interest, towards economic recovery and growth in the region and the world.

Vietnam held APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2017. With this ABAC, the Southeast Asian country expects to gain support for the hosting of the forum in 2027.

Hanoi remains among the most attractive localities for FDI in Vietnam. It envisages becoming an international trade hub in the national efforts to attract foreign investment and promote trade with international partners.

To make the goals possible, it will carry out a number of industry and trade development measures, including outlining support measures and programs to encourage investment in modern distribution and sales systems such as wholesale centers, shopping malls, and supermarkets.

The city said it would use information technology firms in boosting the implementation of the goals. In addition, its IT parks will support a lot in the common drive.