EABC Supporting Businesses to Mitigate COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

10:43:52 AM | 11/13/2020

Business leaders representing 13 East Asian countries, including 10 ASEAN countries and three ASEAN partners - China, Japan and South Korea, attended the 49th Online Meeting of the East Asia Business Council (EABC).

EABC 2020 Chairman Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), presided over this online conference, stating that the COVID-19 pandemic is still very dangerous, troubling the world economy longer than expected and causing the next wave of infections in many countries. Therefore, this meeting could not be held physically in Hanoi as expected.

He said, the EABC Meetings with ASEAN + 3 senior economic officials on July 26, 2020, with the ASEAN + 3 Economic Ministers on August 28, 2020 and ASEAN + 3 senior officials and Economic Ministers highly appreciated EABC contributions and emphasized its recommendations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and support businesses to keep operations and development, thus contributing to the common prosperity of the region.

The East Asian business community supports and hopes the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be soon signed and approved to ensure a high-quality valuable agreement to all parties in this necessary moment.

In addition, other agricultural products should be included in the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).

EABC and JETRO conducted a survey on business outlook and digitization strategy in the new normal. The survey recommended fostering public-private partnership in the region to carry out activities that support and encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to join digital transformation and build the code of conduct for this sector to facilitate digital application (e.g. digital signature and secured and harmonized digital rules in the RCEP).

EABC also proposed integrating the East Asian Business Exchange (EABEX) on the ASEAN + 3 website to promote public-private partnerships and strengthen regional economic integration.

In addition, EABC launched the East Asian Customs Practices e-book in December 2019 and planned to release the second East Asian Investment Practices in 2021, including information on investment legislation in the region such as procedures, tax regulations, infrastructure, incentives and risk management measures.

The above contents will be included in EABC's Recommendation Report, to be submitted to the ASEAN + 3 Leaders at the next meeting between EABC and ASEAN + 3 Leaders.

The East Asia Business Council (EABC) was inaugurated in 2004 by 10 ASEAN countries, and China, Japan and South Korea (ASEAN + 3), to provide private sector perspective and feedback to deepen economic cooperation and to promote the region's economic growth.

EABC members are leaders of large businesses from ASEAN + 3 countries and each country has a maximum of three representatives appointed by their governments. The incumbent EABC Chairman is Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Since its inception, every year, EABC holds many internal meetings and consultation meetings with ASEAN + 3 economic officials and economic ministers to make recommendations on promoting trade and investment and fostering regional integration to ASEAN + 3 Leaders.

The 50th EABC Meeting is expected to be held in January 2021.

By Lan Anh, Vietnam Business Forum