Vietnam seeks ASEAN trade centre project

While hosting a two-day ASEAN business meeting, Vietnam raised an initiative for the local construction of an ASEAN trade centre in support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (BIS), which closed in Hanoi on October 28, was also told that the project should be designed as a venue for regional businesses to exchange views and seek partners for sustainable integration. 

The initiative received strong support from participants, including ASEAN partners from Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia. 

If the plan comes to fruition, the Vietnam centre will become the second of its kind in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), after Malaysia. 

The summit was attended by some 600 business executives and economists from host Vietnam and other ASEAN members, as well as partners. 

They focused discussion on the economic prospects of the region and the globe and raised future solutions for businesses operating in ASEAN. 

Participants highlighted the competitive advantages of ASEAN businesses in the service sector, which has contributed a considerable portion of ASEAN members’ GDP and has been constantly expanding. 

Also high on the summit’s agenda were how to keep up the momentum for ASEAN growth, the SMEs’ role in the regional economy, policies at the ASEAN level, competition capacity and preparations by regional businesses. 

The previous day, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council held a ceremony to announce the ASEAN Business Awards, the third of its kind so far. 

The BIS was one of related summits of the 17th ASEAN Summit, which opened in Hanoi on October 28.