Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh at the event (Source: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Vietnam is among the leading nations in implementing the commitments to the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), said a Vietnamese official.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh made the remark on the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat (AEM Retreat 24), which took place in Singapore on March 1-2.

According to him, Vietnam has actively collaborated with ASEAN countries in developing the Trade Facilitation Index (TFI) to measure the level in each member state. Based on it, ASEAN will give recommendations to each nation on measures to be improved to reach the goals of reducing 10 percent in trade costs by 2020 and doubling the intra-bloc trade value by 2025.

The country has also proactively implemented the initiative on the ASEAN Wide Self-Certification (AWSC), which aims to replace two other pilot mechanisms on self-certification.

The AWSC will help Vietnamese entrepreneurs self–certify their products to ship to nine other ASEAN nations rather than to several ones, which helps save them time, costs, and resources.

During the two-day retreat, ASEAN economic ministers reached agreements on priorities designed by the host to promote e-commerce, trade facilitation, services and integration, thus creating a favourable business climate via realising the targets of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

According to Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, the priorities Singapore plans to pursue in 2018 will bring in visible benefits to ASEAN businesses and residents alike thanks to lower costs, more abundant materials and more favourable conditions for trade and investment.

ASEAN has achieved initial successes with the launching of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and ratification of the ASEAN Declaration on Cruise Tourism to develop sea tourism in the region, he said.

ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.-VNA