The building of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and Vietnam’s participation in the process was the focus of a seminar held in Hanoi on June 10.

Held by the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations, the event was in preparation for a hearing on the ASEAN Community in mid-August.

2015 marks an important milestone, as the ASEAN Community is set to be formed on December 31, encompassing the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community looks to build a people-centred society and enhance mutual understanding among ASEAN countries’ peoples.

Delegates said that the ASEAN Community is significant to maintaining peace and stability in the Southeast Asian and Asian-Pacific regions. With the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, the group intends to promote ASEAN socio-cultural identity, connecting countries during the regional integration.

A member of the ASEAN since 1995, Vietnam has fully participated in and had many initiatives contributed to the group.

Once the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community is formed, Vietnam will enjoy a number of benefits, including more opportunities for labourers and more foreign tourists.

However, it will face several challenges, including low labour quality and productivity compared with other ASEAN countries, delegates said.

Opportunities and challenges facing the ASEAN and Vietnam after the ASEAN Community is formed were also under discussion. Participants contributed opinions to help Vietnam integrate deeply into the ASEAN.-VNA