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Last updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2018


APEC 2017 and Vietnamese Businesses

Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

APEC and Vietnamese businesses
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an open economic forum constituted by 21 member economies, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Russia and Vietnam, with the aim of enhancing balanced, sustainable and innovative economic growth and enhancing regional economic integration. After 28 years of operation and 23 years of carrying out the Bogor Goals on Trade and Investment Liberalisation, APEC has obtained important achievements in the regional economic development. Between 2000 and 2015, APEC's total trade increased 2.5 times from US$6.4 trillion to US$16.5 trillion, the average tariff rate declined by half. In 2016, APEC contributed about 57 per cent to global GDP and 49 per cent to global trade.

In addition to promoting the regional economy, APEC also attaches great importance to supporting entrepreneurs’ operations. One of the most important initiatives in this field is the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC), which was launched in 1997 to facilitate business travelling among APEC member economies. Businesspeople who own the card will have many benefits such as visa exemption for 19 APEC economies (Australia, Chile, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Mexico and Vietnam), have priority in the order of administrative procedure settlement in public places such as airports and customs gates. Moreover, ABTC is also an important document to apply for visas to other developed countries. As of 2016, over 1.6 million businesspeople from 19 APEC member economies have been granted ABTCs.
Vietnam officially became an APEC member in 1998. APEC has always been strategically important to Vietnam as it brings together all strategic partners, business partners and trade partners of Vietnam. They account for 78 per cent of foreign direct investment, 79 per cent of total international trade and 70 per cent of tourists to Vietnam. 13 out of 15 FTAs that Vietnam has signed or is negotiating are with APEC partners.

Furthermore, the access to APEC has opened up tremendous opportunities for Vietnamese businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, because they have gained access to a broad market of emerging economies, enjoyed a better investment and business environment and travel conditions, and had access to advanced technology and advanced management skills of leading corporations.

More specifically, APEC has business support initiatives by surveying export credit agencies (ECAs) or funding corporate support projects in each member country. Besides, APEC technology-related initiatives (such as the APEC Technomart Exhibition, good practices in technology development management and cross-border business connectivity, etc.) have supported the transfer of technologies from developed economies to developing countries. APEC also has trade promotion teams to assist businesses to approach many trade fairs and exhibitions in the region, and provides recommendations to have sustainable businesses.

ABAC and VCCI's business support activities
ABAC is the APEC Business Advisory Council, established by APEC Economic Leaders in 1995, with the goal of providing advice to leaders on key business-related issues in the region. ABAC embraces representatives from 21 member economies. Each economy has a maximum of three members who are business leaders selected and appointed by the Government. ABAC chairmanship is annually rotational and the chair of ABAC is the host of APEC. At present, the chair of ABAC Vietnam is undertaken by leaders of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

In APEC 2006 when Vietnam was the host country of APEC, VCCI as the chair of ABAC successfully hosted ABAC 4 Meeting attended by 230 officials, researchers and experts from 21 economies as well as a series of business related activities like APEC CEO Summit 2006. In particular, the dialogue session between ABAC and economic leaders in the year was considered the most successful dialogue ever, affirmed VCCI’s and ABAC Vietnam’s contributions to business integration and acted as a bridge for domestic and foreign enterprises.

In 2017, VCCI is once again assigned by the Prime Minister to chair ABAC and hold the APEC Business Summit 2017 when Vietnam becomes the APEC Chair. This is the opportunity for VCCI to further promote regional economic integration as well as create a favourable environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to participate in global supply chains, better access capital and new technological innovations.

Business-related activities during APEC Week 2017
In the year of APEC 2017, Vietnam will host four ABAC meetings, with the first three taking place in Thailand, South Korea and Canada and the fourth meeting to be opened by VCCI from November 4 - 6, 2017 in Da Nang City, Vietnam. Business proposals will be collected at ABAC meetings and presented to economic leaders at the dialogue session between ABAC and APEC Economic Leaders during the APEC Summit Week 2017, helping facilitate Vietnam-APEC multilateral cooperation.

VCCI will also host and chair the APEC CEO Summit 2017 themed “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” in Da Nang City from November 8 to 10, 2017. The event will be incorporated with discussions, presentations, and dialogues on a wide range of issues that will contribute to fostering dynamic and sustainable economic growth.

Other VCCI-related events led by VCCI are composed of the Vietnam Business Summit on November 7, 2017 in Da Nang City with the aim of supporting international investors to tap economic policies and investment cooperation potential in Vietnam. This is also a place for domestic businesses to approach well-reputed international partners.

Parallel to this meeting will be the Exhibition on “Vietnam - Trusted and Potential Partners” designed to promote and introduce Vietnamese typical products, policies and projects to investors.

Dr Vu Tien Loc,
Chairman & President, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)

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