Vietnam has reduced import duties to 0-5 percent on more than 10,000 tariff lines, or 98 percent of the total, in accordance with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement from 2008, said Deputy Head of National Committee for International Economic Co-operation Trinh Minh Anh.

Speaking at a seminar on the development of the ASEAN economic community held by Hanoi National University (HNU), Anh said Vietnam is one of several ASEAN members to have successfully completed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)’s commitments. Other members include Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore and Thailand .

It’s reported that although the form of AEC strongly affect people living in the bloc’s member nations, the awareness of the society and businesses community still remains limited.

A survey made by the ASEAN Secretariat in 2012 revealed that 76 percent of the survey participants had not clearly known about AEC, and only 55 percent of businesses had understood the basic role of ASEAN.

Director of HNU Phan Hong Son said Vietnam had been facing many challenges when taking part in the AEC because its development standard and competitive capacity are lower than some other ASEAN countries.

Domestic businesses also suffer from weaknesses in the country’s infrastructure, labour force and mechanisms.

“If Vietnam solves the above problems by restructuring the economy and renovating the growth model, I believe that the country will be able to take advantage when it integrates into the AEC by 2015,” said Son.

In addition, it was stated that Vietnam needs to push up administrative reform, especially in the fields of trade, service and investment in order to improve the economy’s competitiveness as well as make a way for the implementation of trade liberalization when ASEAN market is formed.-VNA