That was the main theme of the 12th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar (AFMIS 12), which was held on April 6 in Cebu City, the Philippines. Participating in the AFMIS 12 were Finance Ministers and Leaders from the 10 ASEAN member countries, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General, representatives from global financial institutions, enterprises, international and regional media agencies. Vietnamese delegation was headed by Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha.
Leaders of MOF member countries attended the meeting
Under the AFMIS 12 theme of “ Unleashing the potentials, Fostering Connectivity”, ASEAN member countries wished to convey the message of an ASEAN region connecting, fostering the development of ASEAN into an attractive destination for both inside and outside investors.
At the plenary session, ASEAN Finance Ministers shared their views on the impact of new developments in the world economy on economic growth, trade, investment and regional integration, including trade protectionism and bilateralism, introverted policies. Finance ministers have sent a message to investors, emphasizing that Asia is still a region of high growth, prepared to adapt to new developments. ASEAN Governments are determined to create a competitive business environment and implement the overall roadmap for building the ASEAN Economic Community 2016-2025. ASEAN countries would continue their cooperation in maintaining regional economic growth, reforming the economic structure, strengthening the social safety network, narrowing the development gap, improving infrastructure and facilitating trade. In addition, Ministers viewed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement was facing many disadvantages, however, trade and investment would be further promoted through bilateral free trade agreements within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners.
Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha spoke at the seminar
At the meeting, the leaders of the Ministry of Finance exchanged their views on the results and measures to promote the ASEAN financial cooperation process, emphasizing that ASEAN countries should promote the connectivity of the capital market, securities market, accelerate the roadmap on liberalizing financial services with concrete results. Regarding the investment attraction in high technology and human resources development, the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam shared Vietnam's policies in the development of supporting industries, human resources training, and the promotion of human resources, encouraging creative ideas, and supportive start-up policies. Besides, Vietnam had great demand for investment in infrastructure such as roads, ports, airports, energy, wastewater treatment and clean water supply. The Vietnamese Government encouraged the private sector to invest in infrastructure projects capable of recovering capital, thereby sharing the benefits and risks between public and private sectors. In addition to investment in infrastructure, human resource was also paid attention from the Government of Vietnam. Annually, state budget expenditures on health, education and vocational training accounted for a significant proportion of the total state budget expenditures, implementing the socialization of public services such as health and education through allowing financial autonomy for public service agencies; adopting financial support policies for the poor and policy beneficiaries.
The conference held four sessions on digital technology development, infrastructure development, trade facilitation, and consumer market development. Leader of the General Customs Department have represented Vietnam in the discussions on cooperation and trade facilitation. Speaking at the session, representative of the General Customs Department shared Vietnam's commitments and progress in trade facilitation, as well as institutional, legal and administrative reform through the promulgation of new Customs Laws and guiding documents, the application of technologies to customs management, such as the automatic customs clearance system, VNACCS / VCIS and ASEAN Single Window. Vietnam Customs sector was willing to strengthen partnerships with the business community, listening to the opinions of enterprises, as well as cooperating with international customs to share and exchange business information, thereby meeting the trade facilitation requirements and customs management
The 12th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar was successfully concluded, affirming ASEAN’s attractive investment destination in the world.