Towards Digital ASEAN for Sustainable Development

10:50:48 AM | 9/12/2019

VCCI President Vu Tien Loc and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi recently met at VCCI to discuss meeting contents of the upcoming ASEAN BAC 2020. The meeting of ASEAN BAC 2020 is “Digital ASEAN for sustainable development”, featuring innovation aspects in the digital era, labor relations, access to capital and development cooperation in a digital age.

The theme demonstrates the proactiveness of the business community in innovation, creativity and responsibility for sustainable development of the region. This theme is to further develop the theme of ASEAN BAC 2019, emphasizing impacts of the digital age, linking economic development with social development: Inclusive and sustainable.

Priorities of the ASEAN BAC will include Partnership and innovation; and SMEs in the digital era.

The ASEAN Secretary General and the Secretariat will support dialogues between ASEAN BAC and ASEAN leaders and meetings between ASEAN BAC with ASEAN Finance Ministers and ASEAN Economic Ministers in 2020.

The Secretary General will advocate inviting ASEAN leaders and ASEAN partners to attend and speak at major events of the ASEAN business community on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS 2020).

The ASEAN Secretariat will support activities of ASEAN BAC 2020, based on the above ASEAN BAC priority topics and areas.

ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi said that he supports cooperation initiatives of the private sector, through the ASEAN BAC or joint business councils such as the EU - ASEAN Business Council, the U.S. - ASEAN Business Council, the U.K. - ASEAN Business Council and ASEAN - Korea Business Council.

“Digital connectivity will still be the focus topic of the next year, with priorities for digital connectivity and payment gateway for ASEAN countries,” he said.

ASEAN BAC was established by ASEAN Heads of States (HOSGs) at the 7th ASEAN Summit in November 2001 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

ASEAN BAC is assigned to foster public-private partnership towards integration and formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and reflect private feedback on the implementation of ASEAN economic cooperation and recommend priority areas for ASEAN leaders to consider.

Key activities of ASEAN BAC are reviewing and seeking approaches to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration; report and provide initiatives and recommendations for consideration by ASEAN leaders. The Chair of ASEAN BAC will make the report at the Dialogue Conference between ASEAN Leaders and ASEAN BAC and the Annual ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN BIS) on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

ASEAN BAC members appointed by the Governments include leaders of each country's leading businesses and each country has three Council members, one of which represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses.

To realize its goals, ASEAN BAC hosts regular meetings for ASEAN countries and ASEAN regional forums to bring together government officials and private sector representatives to support all parties to get full knowledge and approval of the ASEAN integration process. ASEAN BAC established many working groups and committees to carry out these tasks.

As the Chair of ASEAN BAC Vietnam and the Chair of ASEAN BAC 2020, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has built a plan to organize ASEAN BAC events to enhance the role and position of Vietnamese businesses in the region, as well as embrace opportunities to expand business cooperation for the ASEAN business community.

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN BIS) is annually held by the ASEAN BAC on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit. ASEAN BIS is a meeting place for public and private-public organizations, government representatives and industries of ASEAN and its partner countries. ASEAN BIS is also a place for dialogue and connectivity to foster ASEAN economic integration and cooperation initiatives, a foundation to promote as well as seek solutions to facilitate and develop industry, business and investment in the region.

ASEAN BIS attracts an average of 700 to 1,000 businesses from ASEAN member countries, ASEAN dialogue partners and the rest of the world. In addition, ASEAN BAC holds the annual ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) to honor ASEAN’s successful and outstanding businesses with great contributions to the economic development and prosperity of ASEAN.

ABA is designed to promote ASEAN's globally competitive businesses into success models for ASEAN as well as small and medium-sized businesses to go global. ABA finalists and winners will be honored at the ASEAN BIS Gala Dinner and awarded by the host country leaders.

Anh Mai