Vietnam is dedicated to boosting cooperation with East Asian economies, highlighting the importance of the China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stated.

Addressing the media after the 11th CAEXPO and CABIS 2014 in China ’s city Nanning , Deputy PM Minh said the two events were important cooperation mechanisms for the strategic partnership between ASEAN and China .

They helped boost trade and investment ties between business communities in the ten ASEAN member states and China , he said.

Statistics showed that since the first launch of CAEXPO and CABIS, the total value of trade agreements reaching during the events amounted to 15.478 billion USD, with an additional 66.436 billion USD in international cooperation projects, he noted.

For Vietnam in particular, the events provided an opportunity for businesses to build partnerships with approximately 50,000 firms throughout China and ASEAN, Deputy FM Minh said, adding that the total value of trade and investments secured by Vietnamese businesses during CAEXPO and CABIS 2013 amounted to 120 million USD.

CAEXPO and CABIS were not just an effective forum for ASEAN and China , but also for the East Asian region, establishing a new link in global supply chains, he stated.

However, he also pointed out that the greatest challenge in connecting with East Asia was uneven development, especially with regards to infrastructure, human resources and institution.

Issues like territorial sovereignty, disaster risks, epidemics and climate change were also affecting economic growth and taking up human resources, thus impacting on the regional affiliation process, he said.

In order to address these barriers, countries in the region should undertake maximum efforts to accelerate the process of economic connectivity, for the benefit of each country, Deputy PM Minh stressed.

Currently, the Vietnamese Government has stepped up the implementation of three strategic approaches, including infrastructure provision, institutional reform and human resources development, while also exploring new business cooperation channels, he noted.

Deputy PM Minh also called on the business community to take the lead in overcoming challenges and obstacles to improve their competitiveness and survive in an increasingly fierce market.

He also pledged that the government would continue to stand by enterprises, with senior government leaders joining the efforts to create favourable conditions for public-private partnerships and listening to businesses’ opinions.

According to Minh , Vietnam’s participation in CAEXPO and CABIS boosted the regional integration of businesses, and contributed to national development.

Strategically speaking, the active participation of the Vietnamese Government and businesses in these cooperation mechanisms would make the country an important link between Southeast Asia, East Asia and the world, Minh said.

In this large economic area, Vietnamese firms would have the opportunity to grow and become stronger, improving workers’ income and enhancing their competitiveness, he asserted.

Meanwhile, CAEXPO and CABIS also helped foster friendship and understanding between the border areas between Vietnam and China ’s Guangxi province. The Chinese province’s trade with Vietnam accounts for 70 percent of its total trade value with ASEAN, he added.-VNA