Vietnam’s efforts in promoting ASEAN cooperation applauded hinh anh 1At the seminar (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Lim Jock Hoi lauded efforts by the Vietnamese Government and businesses in developing cooperation between the ASEAN member countries, while addressing a seminar in Hanoi on August 26. 

The seminar, jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, offers a chance for the ASEAN Secretariat and leaders to listen to initiatives and proposals aimed to help enterprises seize opportunities and study challenges, as well as coordination measures in the grouping, he said.

The official expressed his hope that negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement between the ASEAN and China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand will be completed in 2019, towards the signing in 2020.

Connecting ASEAN leaders and businesses with partners will be the grouping’s priority in 2020, he said, suggesting Vietnam prove its leading role as ASEAN Chair in the year.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, who is also head of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), said Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 will enable the country to carry forward its role in initiatives and proposals in order to promote trade and economic ties in the bloc.

The seminar looks into bottlenecks facing the Vietnamese business community and measures to improve their competitiveness, thus integrating more deeply into regional economic integration, he said.

Pham Hoang Hai, a representative of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, said Vietnamese firms lack information about ASEAN’s activities, and Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship is expected to help improve the situation.-VNA