Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Vo Tri Thanh (Source: bnews)
Hanoi (VNA) – Many Vietnamese businesses have begun preparing themselves to meet the challenges and opportunities that will be brought about by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which ASEAN officially established in late 2015. 

Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Vo Tri Thanh said the comprehensive integration process has indicated that Vietnam should innovate in certain areas in order to growth further. 

He said import-export tariff reductions will help businesses reduce production costs and escalate investment, export opportunities, and goods’ and services’ competitiveness. 

He went on to say free trade deals have created enormous opportunities for Vietnam in attracting investment – especially foreign direct investment and domestic investment. The country will gain access to many big markets with high purchasing power.

Besides, trust in the country’s reforms will be enhanced, making Vietnam more attractive for investment. 

The researcher added that however, it will still be difficult for Vietnamese businesses to join chains and networks as most domestic ones are of small and medium sizes. 

Meanwhile, Danapha Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company’s Finance Deputy Director Nguyen Thi Van Tho said that in the context of international economic integration, the AEC’s formation and its new tariff policies have created numerous opportunities for businesses to bolster exports to new markets.

However, pressure will increase in terms of competition and rules on quality, product origin and technology, forcing businesses to invest more in research activities and develop skills for workers, she added.

Do Ha Nam, General Director of Intimex Group Joint Stock Company, said several free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific- Partnership (TPP), AEC and other trade deals have generated great opportunities for Vietnam’s high-quality processing products to enter new markets, which traditionally impose high tariff on processed goods.

The AEC’s objective is to create a market of over 600 million people in ASEAN countries. There will be free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labour following the liberalisation. These will include tariff reductions and streamlining of certain administrative procedures.-VNA