$0Joining the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will bring new opportunities for Vietnamese businesses as they are allowed to take part in global value chains, production networks and market segments, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu has said. $0 $0$0 $0 $0 $0He told a conference co-organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in Hanoi on August 12 on ways to raise Vietnam ’s position towards the AEC in 2015 and beyond. $0 $0$0 $0 $0In order to fully tap opportunities from the community, Vietnam should review the impacts of the integration on its economy as well as the real operation of each business, he said, adding that the country needs to improve its position by developing infrastructure and increase popularisation work. $0 $0$0 $0 $0According to Tu, ASEAN should continue strengthening the AEC after 2015 through deeper and more comprehensive integration. $0 $0$0 $0 $0In addition, the association should work harder to become a centre of the regional and global supply chains and production networks, thus further boosting its growth and economic integration, he noted. $0 $0$0 $0 $0Attending the event, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh hailed Vietnam ’s strong growth, especially in economy, thanks to its efforts in promoting investment and export with other ASEAN members. $0 $0$0 $0 $0Meanwhile, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh cited a recent survey showing that 71 percent of Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are joining the East Asian production chains and 70 percent have partners in the region. $0 $0$0 $0 $0This proves that Vietnamese enterprises have deeply integrated into the global production network, he said. $0 $0$0 $0 $0However, Thanh noted that many SMEs have yet to understand thoroughly about the AEC. $0 $0According to Secretary-General Minh, ASEAN has completed nearly 80 percent of its roadmap for the community. $0 $0$0 $0 $0However, from now to 2015 and beyond, the AEC will have much to do, including removing tariff barriers, promoting investment attraction, and narrowing development gap among regional countries, he said. $0 $0$0 $0 $0At the same time, it is necessary to implement commitments and adding them to national strategies and law of each country. $0 $0$0 $0 $0He held that one of the greatest challenges facing ASEAN is a lack of understanding about the AEC as well as opportunities and challenges from the community. $0 $0$0 $0 $0Regarding measures to enhance Vietnam ’s position, Thanh said Vietnam sees certain advantages when joining the AEC in 2015 as it as is currently working for big free trade deals, he said. $0 $0$0 $0 $0He suggested that the government should apply measures to support enterprises in improving their competitiveness.-VNA$0 $0