See More on Facebook

Economics, News

Intra-Asean trade needs to be increased: Vietnam PM

He also says grouping should maintain its consensus-based system, step up integration.


Written by

Updated: September 11, 2018

Asean should maintain its consensus-based system and strengthen trade across the region, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said yesterday, as Hanoi prepares to host the World Economic Forum on Asean starting today.

“Making Asean into a community requires consensus, unity and agreement,” Mr Phuc said in an e-mailed reply to questions from The Straits Times. “Asean needs to maintain this spirit in its activities and relationships with others.”

Intra-Asean trade is about a quarter of Asean’s total trade, he pointed out. “To enhance (the bloc’s) economic potential, Asean countries need to increase integration, trade and investment within the bloc, and at the same time expand economic cooperation with partners and promote the leading role of Asean in regional economic integration,” he said.

More than 1,000 participants from 43 countries are attending the three-day forum. Speakers include Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and China’s Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua, as well as 80 specially selected South-east Asian start-ups.

These fledgling businesses, which are developing products and services like syariah-compliant bitcoin and fertilisers that reduce the emission of global-warming contributor nitrous oxide, have their own programme to share their stories of disrupting traditional commerce and exchange tips on funding and growing their businesses.

This is the second time the regional event is in Vietnam. The first was in Ho Chi Minh City in 2010.

Since then, Vietnam’s economy has been one of the strongest performers in South-east Asia. In the first half of this year, its gross domestic product grew 7 per cent, as it maintained the momentum from its 6.8 per cent full-year growth last year. Foreign direct investment inflows also hit a record US$17.5 billion (S$24 billion) last year.

But like the rest of Asean, it faces several headwinds. While increasing automation threatens to take away many of the labour-intensive jobs that continue to drive regional economies, the ongoing trade spat between China and the United States could threaten supply chain networks woven through the bloc. Meanwhile, US interest rate hikes have put downward pressure on regional currencies, especially in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Vietnam has a booming digital economy but bloated bureaucracy that Mr Phuc’s government has been trying to trim. “Policies have to create motivation and opportunities for people and entrepreneurs to do business,” he said. “At the same time, we use the satisfaction of people and entrepreneurs as the measure to evaluate the effectiveness of policies.”

Mr Phuc pledged to accelerate digitalisation in areas like agricultural management, logistics and health. “This will promote quality and efficiency in service industries and increase competitiveness of our industries while creating a big market to grow our digital economy,” he said. “This will let Vietnam take a big step towards the future.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics, News

EDITORIAL: Mr Trump in India

US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. The diplomatic irony has been rather exceptionally bitter. Donald Trump’s 36-hour visit to India was somewhat pushed out of focus by the communal flare-up that has overwhelmed parts of Delhi, with the death toll rising to 27 till Thursday afternoon. And yet the US President and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were able to convey a robust message to the west of the Radcliffe Line, thanks largely to their personal chemistry. And unlike some previous US Presidents, Mr Trump chose not to follow up his visit to India with another to Pakistan… as often as not to sing a different piece. No, he hasn


By The Statesman
February 28, 2020

Economics, News

As Covid-19 spreads, public health officials consider plans for a worst-case scenario

 Department of Health Services has a Plan B for a few infections but its Plan C envisions shutting down all schools, public transport and gatherings in case of a mass outbreak. While Covid-19 coronavirus infections have significantly slowed in China, they are rapidly spreading around the globe, prompting countries to step up measures to control the spread and the UN 


By The Kathmandu Post
February 28, 2020

Economics, News

Vietnam reaffirms support for nuclear non-proliferation treaty

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, has reaffirmed Vietnam’s strong support for the realisation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) on three pillars. During a session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NPT, Ambassador Quy affirmed that Vietnam has joined all international efforts regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, including regional and global conventions; complied with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s highest safety standards; and strictly followed the UNSC’s resolutions. He said any intentional, unintentional or miscalculated use of nuclear weapons seriously threatened global peace and


By Viet Nam News
February 28, 2020

Economics, News

Budget debate: Coronavirus concerns present long-term opportunities, say MPs

Many have little savings to see them though a work drought, she said, noting that a number of events and work assignments have been cancelled or deferred as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. While the coronavirus outbreak has battered businesses, it has also created opportunities to better prepare Singapore for future challenges, MPs said on Thursday (Feb 27). Speaking on Day 2 of the debate on the Budget statement, they said these include getting more firms to adopt e-commerce, diversifying supply sources and making flexible work arrangements permanent for working parents and caregivers. A total of 54 MPs, including political office holders, spoke over two days on various aspects of the Budget. USING TODAY’S CRISIS TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTU


By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020

Economics, News

South Korea outpaces China with 505 new virus cases

The death toll now stands at 13, while 26 patients have been discharged after recovering fully. South Korea has reported its largest daily spike of 505 new coronavirus infections, outnumbering China for the first time as the government restricted exports of face masks amid a supply shortage. China, where the central city of Wuhan is the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, recorded 450 new cases yesterday. This brings South Korea’s total tally to 1,766, as officials warn that the number will continue to grow until around March 20 – two months after its first case. Experts say South Korea’s numbers are spiking because the authorities are testing people by the thousands each day, with the aim of testing all 210,000 members o


By The Straits Times
February 28, 2020

Economics, News

Coronavirus: 2 new cases confirmed; 4 more, including private hospital doctor, discharged

 Two patients from the Grace Assembly of God cluster, cases 49 and 73, were also discharged.  Two new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) were confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Feb 26) and four others have recovered and were discharged. This brings the total number of cases here to 93, of which 62 have fully recovered. Case 59, the private hospital doctor, was among the four discharged. The 61-year-old Singaporean was confirmed to have the virus on Feb 13 and had been warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. He is not linked to any of the five known clusters but is a non-medical contact of case 72, a 40-year-old man from China who holds a Singapore work pass. Case 56, a Banglad


By The Straits Times
February 27, 2020