APEC 'opens the door' to bring businesses to a wider playing field
|Mr. Mac Quoc Anh, Vice President and General Secretary of Hanoi Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Hanoi SME). (Photo: Hanoisme)|
In sharing with the World & Vietnam Report, Mr. Mac Quoc Anh, Vice President and General Secretary of the Hanoi Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (Hanoi SME) said about the outstanding outcomes which Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) is bringing to Vietnam in general and the business community in particular.
As the leading economic cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC brings great potential and opportunities to Vietnamese businesses. What do you think of the relationship between Vietnamese business community and the APEC mechanism?
After more than 30 years of formation and development, APEC continues to affirm itself as the leading regional economic integration mechanism, initiating and leading the promotion of economic, trade and investment liberalization trends in the region and around the world, thus making important contributions to economic growth and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the Asia – Pacific region.
APEC cooperation focuses on three main pillars: Trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation and economic-technical cooperation. The Forum currently has 21 member economies, including the world's leading economies such as US, China, Japan, 9 members of the Group of leading developed and emerging economies in the world (G20) and many emerging, dynamically developing economies.
Vietnam has participated in APEC and implemented commitments on opening trade, investment, and business facilitation, contributing to creating motivation for domestic reform and gradually perfecting appropriate institutions, policies, and regulations, in accordance with international commitments.
Therefore, APEC creates a premise for Vietnam to participate in larger playgrounds and have a greater level of commitment, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) or new generation FTAs.
APEC also supports businesses - especially small and medium-sized enterprises - in accessing markets, enjoying favourable investment and business environments and convenient travel conditions, finding strategic investors, and accessing to advanced technology and management. Therefore, this is an opportunity for businesses to innovate their corporate governance and improve competitiveness. These positive outcomes have been reflected in the increasing import and export turnover and the list of import and export products, the consistent trade balance between exports and imports.
As an APEC member, Vietnam can get support to improve international integration capacity. One of the three main pillars of APEC is economic-technical cooperation. APEC supports developing economies to improve their capacity for economic reform and regional integration, contributing to narrowing development gap.
The implementation of commitments, policy synchronization, and projects with APEC support have contributed to improving the international integration capacity of ministries, branches, localities and businesses, enhancing knowledge and experience of the staff working on integration. Cooperation programs on enhancing student exchange, promoting tourism, people-to-people exchanges, bring many great opportunities for people, especially the younger generation.
What are the future and opportunities for businesses from member economies when participating in APEC?
Participating in APEC and implementing commitments on opening trade, investment, and business facilitation have been contributed to creating motivation to promote domestic reform, gradually perfecting policy institutions and regulations in accordance with the international commitment.
APEC creates a premise for Vietnam and the business community to participate in the larger playgrounds with a higher level of commitments, such as the WTO and FTAs, including new generation FTAs with high standards.
The implementation of international commitments is also a lever to realize the determination to build a Government of integrity, creation, and action to serve people and businesses. This mechanism is also a premise for businesses to attract investment and participate in the global value chain. This is also an opportunity for the Government to issue policies to create conditions supporting business development, especially in terms of capital and investment, transportation infrastructure, trade, import and export.
Vietnamese businesses need to combine value chains to link industries to support development. (Photo: VGP)
To be able to participate and take better advantage of opportunities from this cooperation mechanism, what do you think the Vietnamese business community needs to do?
In a hyper-connected world, the Asia-Pacific region continues to be a center of the world development. Entering the fourth decade of development, with rapid and profound changes in regional landscape and the world, under the strong impact of the 4.0 industrial revolution, APEC is fundamentally transforming, increasingly expanding the scope of cooperation in a more practical way, for the benefit of people and businesses.
After more than 30 years of innovation and international integration, Vietnam has entered a period of strategic development with a new position and stature, continuing comprehensive innovation, deep international integration and raising the level of multilateral foreign relations. The Asia – Pacific region and APEC are ones among priorities in implementing our country's foreign policy in the new era.
Responding to the regional and world trends, in my opinion, Vietnamese businesses need to cooperate along the value chain to connecting industries to support each other's development. At the same time, we need to strengthen the national trade promotion and technology innovation program, creating many technology fairs for businesses to grasp market tastes and meet exporters' needs.
What has the Hanoi SME been doing to support businesses to participate, connect, and cooperate with businesses in APEC member economies in particular and in the world in general?
Our Association has signed cooperation agreements with Associations from a number of countries in the region and the world. We regularly coordinate with Counselors of other countries through the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learn about market trends, particularly emerging markets, in order to find out consumer tastes and standards as well as the culture of using product designs, regulations on technical barriers thereby avoiding errors in the import and export process.
In addition, we conduct online programs with partners who can’t take direct participation. Through exchanges with foreign Commercial Counselors, we can have many orders, learn payment specifications and information on the marketplace.