ASEAN seeks to boost intra-regional trade and investment

HANOI, 10 January 2020 – A high-level symposium was held today in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, focusing on promoting greater trade and investment in the region, providing a strong start to Viet Nam’s ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship. Director General of the ASEAN Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, H.E. Vu Ho, delivered the welcome remarks.

Attended by experts and policy makers from Viet Nam and other countries in the region, the event examined measures to boost trade and investment in ASEAN by addressing institutional and policy barriers, maximising global value chain participation, and improving seamless logistics.

“Enhancing regional trade is critical to build our resilience against current global uncertainties,” said Vice Minister for Trade and Industry of Viet Nam, H.E. Tran Quoc Khanh in his opening remarks. He further said that ASEAN should stay committed to deepen the market integration.

ASEAN is one of the most dynamic economies due to its strong trade and investment links with each other and the world.  Around 23 per cent of trade and 15 per cent of investment are generated within the region.  But rising trade tensions have also put pressure on the region to stay competitive.

“To achieve a higher intra-regional trade by 2025 and beyond, ASEAN should redouble efforts to reduce trade costs, identify new sectors and products with high trade potentials, and continue to support an open, inclusive and rules-based trading system”, said Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community, Dr Aladdin D. Rillo, who attended the Symposium as one of key speakers.  He also acknowledged the need for the region to build hard and soft infrastructures, including regulatory reform and digital infrastructure, as well as to develop human capital and financial markets to support market integration.

The High-Level Symposium on Intra-ASEAN Trade and Investment was organised by ASEAN 2020 National Secretariat of Viet Nam and with support from the ASEAN Secretariat and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).