ASEAN Community, a hopeful start

15:13 | 16/12/2015 Cooperation

(VEN) - The leaders of 10 ASEAN member countries recently signed the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community, turning ASEAN into a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially-responsible community.

ASEAN Community, a hopeful start

Forging ahead together

The signing of the declaration was a significant event at the 27th ASEAN Summit that took place recently in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, announcing that the ASEAN Community will be officially established on December 31 this year with the community based on the ASEAN Political and Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

In a context of strengthening connectivity between member countries, as ASEAN plays a central role in forming regional structures, and when global waves of integration are growing, the establishment of the ASEAN Community will create a politically stable, economically dynamic, people-centered region with harmonious cultural values. The 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration will lay new foundations for ASEAN.

In the declaration, ASEAN member countries underlined their confidence that “the realization of the ASEAN Community has set a milestone in the integration process and will ensure lasting peace, security and resilience in an outward-looking region, with economies that are vibrant, competitive and highly integrated.” They underlined the “aspiration towards establishing a truly rules-based, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community where people continue to participate in and benefit fully from the on-going process of ASEAN integration and community building.”

Resting on three pillars

At the summit, the leaders of 10 ASEAN countries approved the ASEAN Community Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together document, under which the ASEAN Political and Security Community will be established in 2015 and play a central role in forming regional security structures, while at the same time deepening ASEAN’s relations with external partners and contributing to global peace, security, and stability.

The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) will also be established in 2025 to promote social development and environmental protection through effective mechanisms to meet current and future needs of the community’s population. The ASCC will be a dynamic, harmonious community that is aware and proud of its cultural identity, heritage, and creativity, taking the initiative in contributing to global communities.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will be established this year. According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu, the establishment of the AEC is a decisive step towards the formation of the ASEAN Community in line with the ASEAN Vision 2020. The AEC will look towards turning ASEAN into a single production base and a common market allowing free circulation of goods, services, investments, skilled workers, and capital flows; a region of equal economic development between member countries, narrowing the development gap and promoting the integration, especially between less developed members, through regional and sub-regional cooperation initiatives; a highly competitive economic region; and an economic region with deeper and more comprehensive integration into the global economy.  

Member of Communist Party Central Committee (PCC), Head of PCC Economic Commission Vuong Dinh Hue:

Strengthening Vietnam’s position and reputation

Active participation in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will bring ASEAN member countries great benefits, helping them achieve faster economic growth, create more employment, attract more foreign direct investment, better distribute resources, and enhance production capacity and competitiveness. ASEAN countries will increase their presence in global production and value chains to benefit more from intraregional trade and investment. ASEAN economic integration, especially active participation in the AEC, will help Vietnam strengthen its position and reputation in ASEAN as well as other international forums so that it can grasp opportunities and take the initiative in coping with challenges in the regional cooperation process.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu:

Businesses and the state need to take the initiative

The government as well as the business community needs to take suitable measures to integrate more deeply and effectively into ASEAN in the time to come. Along with general solutions to improve the effectiveness of international economic integration, the government needs to take specific measures to implement the AEC. Specifically, it needs to improve the domestic legal framework in harmony with regional commitments towards AEC implementation. In addition, it needs to accelerate administrative reforms, especially in the fields of trade, services, and investment in order to enhance the competitiveness of the economy and make the most of opportunities from the ASEAN common market.

On their side, businesses need to concentrate on improving the quality and competitiveness of products as well as after-sales services. In addition, they need to work out suitable business strategies to maintain their firm position in the domestic market and seek new markets, and take the initiative in seeking access to information about tariff reductions in ASEAN in order to boost exports to ASEAN countries.

Recorded by Diem Phuong

ASEAN ranks third after the US and the EU among Vietnam’s top export markets. Vietnamese exports to ASEAN increased from US$2.6 billion in 2000 to US$10.4 billion in 2010, and US$19.12 billion in 2014.


Nguyen Phuong