New international context and impacts on AEC

On May 14th, 2014, University of Economics and Business (UEB) and University of Economics & Law (UEL) have co-organized a conference entitled “New international context and the impacts on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)” under the sponsorship of Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) and Ministry of Sciences & Technology.

Following the previous conference on joining AEC - international experience and implications for Vietnam held in October 2013, the above-mentioned conference is organized within a state-level research project on AEC in new international context and the participation of Vietnam led by UEB Rector Nguyen Hong Son.
The determination to build the ASEAN Economic Community along with ASEAN Political - Security Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community by 2015 proves a new process of ASEAN cooperation. However, in the process of AEC realization, the current international context has new features that directly affect ASEAN in general and the AEC in particular. Therefore, the conference was in the aim of enhancing academic exchanges, offering a forum for scholars and specialists to discuss about the new international context and impacts on the AEC.
Attending the conference were representatives of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), leaders, faculty and students of University of Economics and Law - Ho Chi Minh City National University and VNU University of Economics and Business. The conference also attracted the attention of many journalists and media.


Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Tien Dzung (right) and Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son chair the conference

Opening the conference, Rector of University of Economics and Law Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Tien Dzung has emphasized the significance of the conference and confirmed the closer collaboration, which opens up further cooperation opportunities between the two universities. Following the opening speech, FNF Country Director Mr. Hans-Georg JONEK presented the interest of FNF in the conference as well as the building of the AEC by 2015.

FNF Country Director Mr. Hans-Georg JONEK speaks at the conference

At the conference, four authors have represented their papers. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son pointed out basic characteristics of the new international context such as the changing international situation, slowly recovered world trade, the domination of protectionism, the bias to domestic market, the competitive integration model, the rise of China’s influence in the region, the fierce competition between major powers of influence in the Southeast Asia, the disputes in East Sea and internal instability in some member states. Through the identification of the new international context, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son analyzed the impacts and issues for Vietnam’s AEC integration process in the near future.
The conference is followed by a presentation by Dr. Pham Sy Thanh  (Program Director of China Economic Research at the UEB’s Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research) on the theme “The Impact of China on trade and investment of the ASEAN countries”. The paper analyzed the relationship of trade and investment between ASEAN countries and China, giving the risk of free trade trap or industrialization deflecting trap for ASEAN countries. Dr. Thanh also made some comments on direct and indirect impacts of Chinese strategies and policies on ASEAN.
Two following presentations mentioned the impact of other free trade agreements to AEC. Ms. Nguyen Thi Dieu Hien (UEL lecturer) analyzed the context of regional economic cooperation in Asia - Pacific, namely Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The paper concludes RCEP and TPP are expected to motivate the realization of AEC through institutional reforms and support help ASEAN deeper join into global value chains. However, the two agreements also offer some challenges to Vietnam, which is the interests balance between the two agreements, flexiblility in negotiation and harmonization of commitments.
MSc. Luu Tien Dzung (Lac Hong University lecturer) shared many similarities with earlier papers, proposing the analysis on the impact of external FTA on AEC from the aspect of liberalization of goods trade, services sector and investment.
The presentations attracted the attention and interest of the audiences, most of them responded positive comments.


Paricipants discuss at the conference

After four hardworking hours, the conference closed successfullys and received many precious comments. The participants shared the multi-aspect impacts of the new international context on the realization of AEC by 2015. Whether the AEC may takes advantage of opportunities and overcomes challenges depends on the ASEAN countries through domestic reforms of each country and the rennovation of the association. On behalf of the conference organizing board, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son thanked the participants for their attention and comments as well as the positive coordination and support from the UEL and sponsor. The conference opens opportunities for collaboration between the two universities in the future. The UEB Rector said the university would continue to study on AEC and hopes to receive the cooperation of specialists of the country and abroad.


The conference draws the attention of the press. (In the picture: Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Song at the press interview) 


Participants take photo at the conference

Minh Phuong - Duy Anh

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