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Amid financial uncertainty, hopes abide for upbeat dialogue between EU and ASEAN
governments and companies
The third ASEAN-EU Business Summit, organised on March 8-9, will be joined by an expected 600 local and international high-level decision makers and international business leaders to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region and how to further improve business in the most relevant trade and investment sectors.
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh and EU Commissioner for Trade Karel de Gucht will chair the event.
In addition to the EU and ASEAN, organisers of the summit include Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), EU-ASEAN Business Council, ASEAN Business Advisory Council and ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The ASEAN-EU Business Summit is one of very few conferences in the region which brings together high-level policy makers and businessmen to identify regional opportunities and challenges in order to further improve the business climate,” said Eurocham’s chairman Preben Hjortlund.
“This is especially important in the current financial situation. EuroCham Vietnam and our members are very much looking forward to demonstrate our continued commitment to invest in the region and to yet another successful summit.”
Economic sectors to be covered during the summit will be agri-food, automotive, financial services, information and communications technology, infrastructure/connectivity and pharmaceuticals.
Discussion sessions will bring the policy dimensions of trade and investment into business perspectives in order to identify points of convergence and divergence for an improved business environment.
Furthermore, EU and ASEAN business leaders will not only work together to identify opportunities of doing business among themselves, but also recommend important policies that they believe could be helpful to further promote the bilateral exchanges of investments, trade and economics.
On the sidelines of the third ASEAN-EU Business Summit, the VCCI in cooperation with EuroCham Vietnam will be organising the “B2B Meeting: ASEAN–EU Investment and Trade Opportunities” to further enhance the relationships between the two regional business communities. The meeting will focus on introducing emerging investment destinations in the ASEAN and strong economic sectors in the region as well as potential industries for cooperating between the ASEAN and the EU. It will also create opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to meet firms from the ASEAN and EU to discuss cooperation and investment opportunities.
Meanwhile, the 19th ASEAN Ministers Meeting Retreat will be joined by the 10 ASEAN trade ministers and ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh. It will delve into discussing important initiatives to further strengthen intra-ASEAN economic cooperation and establish the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. At present, 74.5 per cent of preparations for establishing this community has been completed.
In the past years, the ASEAN has achieved world-wide recognition for being one of the most dynamic and integrated regions. The growing purchasing power of 600 million consumers and the ongoing progress of the regional agenda are offering an integrated market and production base for both businesses and consumers.
The EU, the world’s largest single market with 500 million consumers and an abundant source of top quality investments, presents great potential to bring advanced technologies, innovation and expertise to the 10 dynamic economies of the ASEAN.
"On behalf of the EU-ASEAN Business Council, I am proud to announce the third ASEAN-EU Business Summit aiming not only to foster stronger trade and investment relations between the two blocks but also to allow the European businesses in the region to voice their recommendations to policy makers in their sector of expertise.
This high-profile event will once again bring together business leaders, high-profile politicians from the EU and ASEAN allowing dialogue and cooperation. I believe that in light of the different FTA negotiations between the EU and the ASEAN countries, European companies will take this occasion to share their strong commitment to investing in the region and their equal commitment to regional integration."
- Stefano Poli, Chairman of EU-ASEAN Business Council
"This summit is a privileged and high-level forum for dialogue between business and government which aims to boost trade and investment between the EU and ASEAN. 2013 is a transitional year for the ASEAN to build its ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. Unlike many other summits, this summit highlights the voice of enterprises and the two regions’ economic and trade cooperation. Ministers and the EU Commissioner would like to listen to enterprises’ initiatives, recommendations and opinions. They will then collect such initiatives, recommendations and opinions and then issue specific action plans to solve enterprises’ difficulties and improve the regions’ business and investment climate."
- Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Multilateral Trade and Policy Department
"The summit is a high level forum between ASEAN and European government and business leaders, which aims to help boost trade and investment between the ASEAN and EU.
Standard Chartered believes that international financial institutions can play a key role in supporting Vietnam and other ASEAN countries in their efforts to strengthen intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-EU trade flows by acting as a catalyst for cross border business. As a bank that has operated in the ASEAN region for over 150 years, and the only international bank with a presence in all ten ASEAN markets, we believe that we are in the best position to assist ASEAN and EU based companies to access opportunities in both regions more easily."
- Louis Taylor, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam) Limited
"This summit is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas on public-private partnerships that will bolster the development of ASEAN economies. As the leading European insurer and asset management company in Asia, with over 80 years in the region, Prudential appreciates the opportunity to participate in discussions that will help contribute to the long-term economic growth in the region. As one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, ASEAN is witnessing strong growth in the demand for life protection and long-term saving products. With continuing development of its capital markets, ASEAN can provide the funding for business and infrastructure."
- Donald Kanak, Chairman of Prudential Corporation Asia
"Having been present in Southeast Asia for more than 90 years now, Bosch is very much attuned to the automotive ecosystem in the region. Through our relationship with the European Chambers in Southeast Asia, the ties we have forged with local governments, and our long-lasting technology leadership in the automotive industry, Bosch is today the world’s largest supplier of cutting-edge automotive technology that makes life safer, more comfortable and more environmental-friendly. As such, Bosch has drafted a paper on behalf and together with the automotive industry represented in the European Chambers of Commerce in Southeast Asia, detailing the challenges and opportunities that the automotive industry faces, as well as key recommendations to address these issues."
- Martin Hayes, President of Robert Bosch (South East Asia) Pte Ltd.