Thursday , December 1 2022

PM calls for ASEAN unity to achieve economic recovery post-pandemic


A united ASEAN that can recover quickly from Covid-19 and cope with challenges is the need in the current economic situation, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said.

Addressing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, he said: “The world is always changing and there are many underlying risks. To deal with global challenges, we need a global approach and global solutions.”

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s annual event is being held after a two-year gap due to Covid. This year’s theme is “Addressing Challenges Together.”

The summit comprises four economic discussions: on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), digital economy, green ASEAN, and sustainable development.

Chinh said close linkages between businesses would help ASEAN overcome challenges and become one of the global bright spots in terms of growth and connectivity.

The fight against the pandemic was a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of solidarity, he said, pointing out the bloc has basically controlled the pandemic, creating favorable conditions for a quick recovery and sustainable development.

He described the current period as “a turning point with more challenges than opportunities,” but said ASEAN members need to stay together when challenges arise to foster the economic recovery of the region as well as the world.

He suggested five main points to help ASEAN stay united and quickly overcome challenges.

Governments, businesses and other stakeholders need to effectively implement the Comprehensive Recovery Framework approved by ASEAN leaders and take initiatives focused on recovery, digital transformation and sustainability, he said.

The business community needs to seize the opportunity from RCEP, a regional free trade agreement whose members account for 30% of global GDP and 30% of the world’s population, he said.

He urged businesses to take this opportunity to promote market linkages, production chains, value chains, harmonization of regulations on origins, customs procedures, and quarantine and technical standards.

Bloc members need to effectively implement the ASEAN Master Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the ASEAN Agreement on E-commerce, accelerate digital transformation and invest in the development of digital infrastructure, he said.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council needs to promote its pioneering role in cooperation, fostering innovation, technology transfer and the shift to a circular economy to save resources and protect the environment, he said.

Businesses should closely coordinate with governments for new initiatives to promote a sustainable and highly adaptive regional economy, he added.

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