EABC Chair Vu Tien Loc: RCEP needs consensus and India's participation

10:57:06 AM | 23/6/2020

Recently, business leaders representing 13 East Asian countries, including 10 ASEAN countries and three partners, China, Japan, and South Korea, attended the 47th East Asia Business Council Meeting (EABC) held online in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the VCCI, Chair of East Asia Business Council, presided over the conference. Dr. Loc elaborated on existing challenges caused by the Covid-19 epidemic to economies and proposed three main issues of discussion: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), digital economy, and micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) support.

VCCI President Loc said the meeting reached a high consensus:

Regarding RCEP, the Council recommended that governments accelerate the process of finalizing and signing the agreement. The Council re-emphasized the principle of consensus and full participation of all countries, including India - a potential economy and an important partner in the region. India's participation will benefit all parties.

On digital economy, the council agreed to foster private sector cooperation in sharing information, spreading good practices and setting the foundation for advancing digital transformation in businesses and the economy. EABC highly appreciated the cooperation of JETRO (Japan) with VCCI in the initiative of implementing Digital STARS Project, designed to build an ASEAN startup network for startups.

On MSME development, the council affirmed that MSMEs are the backbone of economies in the region and a key driver for economic recovery and development after the Covid-19 epidemic. The council is committed to continuing initiatives on MSME development, including the development of electronic manuals on customs procedures, trade facilitation, e-commerce promotion, and increased access to credit for MSMEs. At the same time, the council encouraged the implementation of new initiatives such as the establishment of single-window centers that provide legal advice, market development and innovation services for MSMEs.

The 48th East Asia Business Council Meeting is scheduled to be held in August 2020.

By Giang Tu, Vietnam Business Forum