Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue joined ASEAN counterparts at the 8th ASEAN Finance Ministers Investor Seminar (AFMIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 8.

The seminar, themed "Growth and Resilience - the ASEAN Story" focused on investment opportunities, financial markets and ASEAN’s economic advantages over other developing regions.

Opening the seminar, ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan affirmed ASEAN’s increasing role in the region and the world as the bloc’s economies are maintaining rapid growth, which he said has made Asia a significant driver of the global economy.

ASEAN needs to enhance trade and investment cooperation, especially in infrastructure construction and development, to ensure stable growth towards the target of building the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Community by 2015, he said.

Finance Ministers from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and the host country spoke about their countries’ macroeconomic situations, policies, challenges and measures to ensure stable economic growth.

They noted that the 1997-1999 crisis served as a valuable lesson for ASEAN members to apply tight fiscal and monetary policies amidst strong capital inflows.

Vietnamese Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue pointed out the necessary steps to turn ASEAN into an attractive investment destination.

ASEAN has advantages in foreign investment attraction as it is an active economic region with high and stable growth, a huge potential market and abundant low-cost workforce along with many preferential policies for foreign investors, said Hue.

He proposed ASEAN members conduct policies in a synchronous manner, stabilise the macro-economic environment; ensure intellectual property rights, develop strong legal systems; create an equal and competitive environment; engage in administrative reform; increase investment in infrastructure; develop the knowledge-based economy; and expand economic and trade relations with domestic and foreign partners.

The seminar concluded the same day with a joint press release.

On the sidelines of the seminar, ASEAN Finance Ministers held private talks with foreign investors to promote the investment environment and opportunities in their respective countries./.