EABC Makes More Recommendations to Business Community

10:09:19 AM | 8/20/2020

On August 18, business leaders representing 13 East Asian countries, consisting of 10 ASEAN countries including Vietnam, and three partner countries - China, Japan and South Korea, attended by video conference the 48th Meeting of the East Asia Business Council (EABC).

Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Chair of EABC 2020, presided over this meeting and noted that the Covid-19 pandemic is raging through a second wave of contagion that hampers many economies around the world. To overcome these challenges, the EABC entered into the ASEAN+3 Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM+3) on July 26, 2020 and sent important recommendations of the business community to governments in the region.

Accordingly, the EABC emphasized its support for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); recommended governments to expand the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to include other agricultural products such as salt, sugar, flour and cooking oil; merged the ASEAN+3 website with the East Asia Business Exchange (EABEX) to boost the awareness of public-private partnership for regional development.

The EABC also announced the release of an e-book on customs in East Asia. Currently, the council is making an e-book on East Asia investment, expected to be delivered in 2021.

The EABC submitted a report on recommendations at its meetings and dialogues with ASEAN+3 leaders in the framework of the ASEAN+3 Summit to be held in November 2020.

During the online meeting, Dr. Vu Tien Loc said that SEOM+3 acknowledged and appreciated the EABC's contributions and emphasized the high practicability of its recommendations in the current context. In the near future, on August 28, 2020, the EABC will host a meeting of the ASEAN+3 Economic Ministers (AEM+3) and will work together to make more recommendations for the business community of the region.

The EABC is also currently conducting a survey on the Business Outlook and the Digitalization Strategy in the new normal status, accompanied and supported by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The survey result will be included in the EABC report submitted to the ASEAN+3 governments.

EABC President Loc expressed his appreciation to working groups for their contributions in finding methods for and supporting digital transformation, fostering multilateral trade ties and supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). He said, MSME is the most vulnerable group but also a driving force for regional economic development. The MSME internationalization process is an important indicator of the success in East Asian regional integration, promoting the digital transformation process, and enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs in the region.

“In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic time, I call on all EABC member countries to share their experiences and governance models to help businesses overcome the crisis," said the EABC Chairman.

Regarding RCEP, the EABC hopes that, with strong recommendations from the EABC, procedures for the agreement signing will be accelerated this year.

With respect to EABEX, all EABC member countries were suggested searching for sponsors and investors to develop and generate income in the future, said Dr. Loc.

In 2020, VCCI will be hosting the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN BIS 2020) - the largest business event of the ASEAN region. ASEAN BIS 2020 will focus on innovation and sustainable development in the digital age. In addition, together with U.S. government agencies, VCCI will co-host the third Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Hanoi in the last week of October. Taking this opportunity, VCCI President Loc extended an invitation to EABC representatives to participate in and support these events.

According to the press release, the 49th EABC Meeting is expected to take place in November 2020.

By Huong Ly, Vietnam Business Forum