Vietnam’s Important Contributions to ASEAN’s Economic Priorities

Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2023 (ASEAN-BAC 2023) assessed that Vietnam made positive contributions to the implementation of the economic priorities of the ASEAN Chair in 2023.

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Vietnam's Important Contributions to ASEAN's Economic Priorities
Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2023 (ASEAN-BAC 2023). Photo: VNA

Ahead of the 42nd ASEAN Summit, scheduled to take place on May 9-11 at Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Arsjad Rasjid assessed that Vietnam made important contributions to the realization of the ASEAN Chair’s economic priorities in 2023.

According to Rasjid, Vietnam plays an important role in promoting trade and investment within and outside the region, participating in initiatives such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area. Vietnam recently expressed its desire to join the cross-border payment network, which is considered a positive development step for regional economic integration.

In addition, Vietnam’s hosting of the upcoming ASEAN Wind Energy 2023 conference is a significant contribution to the region’s renewable energy goals.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Southeast Asia has wind power capacity of up to 8.5 GW by the end of 2020, expected to reach 35 GW by 2030 if current policies and targets are achieved. Vietnam is the largest wind power market in the region, with a projected generating capacity of 13.9 GW by 2025.

The ASEAN-BAC Chairman affirmed that Vietnam’s above contributions are important in advancing ASEAN’s economic agenda. He emphasized Vietnam’s commitment in various initiatives showing Hanoi’s readiness to move towards a more integrated and prosperous region.

According to Rasjid, ASEAN-BAC has identified five priority economic issues to be addressed this year, including digital transformation, sustainable development, health recovery, food security, trade and investment.

To advance these priorities, ASEAN-BAC has developed eight legacy projects towards an integrated, connected and sustainable economic region.

The above projects include ASEAN QR Code, Lending Market Platform, Entrepreneur Open Dictionary, ASEAN Zero Emission Center, Advanced Carbon Center, ASEAN One Shot vaccination campaign, Model for agricultural products and ASEAN Business Entity.

Vietnam's Important Contributions to ASEAN's Economic Priorities
Arsjad Rasjid, chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) in an interview. Photo: VNA

These priority initiatives of the ASEAN-BAC received the support of all ASEAN economic ministers and made progress. One of the initiatives that progressed is the ASEAN QR Code, which aims to facilitate cross-border payments by providing standardized QR codes to merchants. This allows them to accept payments with different types of e-wallets in the region.

Currently, the payment systems of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been connected. Meanwhile, Malaysia and Thailand also have integrated payment systems with Singapore. However, more effort is needed to encourage wider adoption and ensure connectivity in all ASEAN countries.

ASEAN-BAC Chairman Rasjid said earlier, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced that ASEAN agreed to build a regional ecosystem for electric vehicles.

All member countries welcomed the theme of the ASEAN Indonesia Chairmanship 2023 “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” with three strategic spearheads including recovery and reconstruction, digital economy, and sustainable development.

Rasjid emphasized that the shift towards sustainable transport is important for ASEAN. It is encouraging that ASEAN member countries come together to support this goal.

The adoption and implementation of the electric vehicle agreement will have a positive impact, not only on the environment but also on the economy. It will create new business opportunities for the private sector and accelerate technological advancements.

Rasjid also said Indonesia and the Philippines hold 33% and 40% of the world’s nickel reserves, respectively. This forms a solid basis for the partnership. They become pioneers in the battery and electric vehicle industries on both a regional and global scale.

Rosie Nguyen