Auto manufacturers from ASEAN member countries are extremely interested in the use of bio-fuel as an alternative to petrol in a bid to reduce environmental pollution.

The issue was discussed at the 12 th ASEAN Automobile Industry Forum which opened in Hanoi on January 24.

Being the event’s host, Vietnam said it encouraged the manufacture of environmentally-friendly vehicles that use clean fuel, said Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Le Duong Quang.

The country expected that by 2020 the use of clean fuel in vehicles would account for 5 percent of conventional energy, said Quang.

He noted that the domestic auto industry would prioritise working with its partners in the ASEAN bloc to boost links and the associations role.

A representative from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan , whose auto industry is one of the most developed in the world, said the ASEAN market has a lot of potential for developing its auto industry.

Japanese auto makers have invested in ASEAN countries for a long time and their investment has proved to be effective and able to raise the competitiveness of the ASEAN-Japan auto industry to rival big car producers like China , India or the Republic of Korea , said Shigeaki Tanaki, Head of the METI’s Auto Manufacturing Department.

At the two-day forum, the participants touched upon the deployment of auto industry-related commitments in the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the streamline of customs procedures for auto products and standardising and harmonising the auto industry in the bloc./.