Engagement in building ASEAN Community deliberated hinh anh 1 Chairwoman of Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation Nguyen Thi Binh (Photo:Internet)

Panels put forth measures to increase the engagement of individuals and people’s organisations in building the ASEAN Community during an international workshop in Hanoi on October 19-20.

They also pointed to opportunities and challenges in the field.

According to former State Vice-President and Chairwoman of the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation Nguyen Thi Binh, the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015 will be a historical milestone in the successes of the bloc over the past 48 years.

However, this is just the beginning, she said, adding that embracing ASEAN connectivity is a continuous process.

The community will actualise connectivity targets across politics, economics, social responsibility and expansion of external relations, thus creating a people-centred and rules-based ASEAN.

ASEAN is the third-largest labour force and the seventh-biggest economy in the world with a population of over 600 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.57 trillion USD in 2014.

Development prospects for the group are very promising, Binh said.

Vietnam has actively worked with other ASEAN member states to implement 434 priority measures to set up the ASEAN Community, she reported.

It is important for Vietnamese agencies, producers, businesses, and people to fully understand the tasks and issues set by the community towards mapping out specific action plans to improve capacity and economic efficiency in key fields such as liberalising trade of goods and services, increasing the competitive edge in agriculture and sharpening worker skills, she noted.

Anna Mae, a representative from the ASEAN Secretariat, highlighted ASEAN’s remarkable achievements from 2014-2017.

The bloc’s GDP increased to 2.57 trillion USD last year from 1.33 trillion USD in 2007, ranking third in Asia and seventh in the world.

Total trade expanded to 2.5 trillion USD in 2014 from 1.6 trillion USD in 2007, of which intra-bloc trade comprised the largest proportion of the total trade between ASEAN and external partners.

The intra-bloc direct investment flow in 2014 was ranked second in the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in ASEAN.

She unveiled the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)’s master plan in 2015, resting on four pillars of integration: a single market and production base, a competitive economic region, equitable economic development and integration with the global economy.

The workshop was co-organised by the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung of Germany.-VNA