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H.E. Mr. bui thanh son, Asia Business Week Dublin

“Market Opportunities in the Fast Growing Economy
of Vietnam” Key Address by H.E. Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam speaking at the Asia Ireland Trade & Investment Summit during Asia Business Week Dublin 2014

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H.E. Mr. bui thanh son, Asia Business Week Dublin

  1. 1. ASIA BUSINESS WEEK DUBLIN! Asia Ireland Trade and Investment Summit! 5 June 2014!   Market Opportunities in the Fast Growing Economy of Vietnam! H.E. Bui Thanh Son, ! Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam ! !!
  2. 2. 1     Remarks By Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son At Asia-Ireland Trade and Investment Summit Market opportunities in the fast growing economy of Viet Nam (Masion House, Dublin, 5th June 2014) Ladies and gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure to attend the Asia-Ireland Trade and Investment Summit held in the beautiful city of Dublin. I highly value the efforts by the Asia Matters, the city of Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology in organizing this meaningful event. The presence of a large number of enterprises, officials, experts and scholars from Ireland and Asia at this Summit demonstrates your great interest in investment and business opportunities between Ireland and Asia. I would like to commend the previous speakers on their interesting remarks about opportunities for trade and investment cooperation in Asia. In my view, all the observations made are quite relevant, yet insufficient. For Asia, a vast continent of great diversity and multi- layered economic linkages, is home to many nations, each of them possesses unique characteristics and comparative advantages. Given that, allow me to spend a few minutes to introduce to you the opportunities for business and investment in Viet Nam, a promising destination for Irish businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, Over the past 30 years since the adoption of the open-door and renewal policy, Viet Nam has recorded significant achievements in socio- economic development. With an average growth rate of 7.5% per annum
  3. 3. 2     within 1991-2010, Viet Nam has become a middle-income country. As of 2013, real GDP per capita in Viet Nam reached approximately US$1,900. In addition to pursuing the economic goals, we attach great importance to maintaining social security and social equality. We have achieved ahead of schedule many Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, including those in poverty reduction, gender equality, universal education and healthcare. Even during the period when our economy was hurt by the global financial crisis and economic downturn, Viet Nam managed to maintain a stable growth rate of 5.6% in 2011-2013. It is expected that our GDP growth rate in 2014 will be 5.8-6%. The Vietnamese economy has witnessed positive changes in the recent quarters in all areas, including continuous GDP growth, macro-economic stability, and inflation curbed at low level. In the area of information and communication, Viet Nam is ranked the 3rd in South East Asia and the 8th in Asia with over 31 million internet users, accounting for 34% of the population. For nearly a decade now, Viet Nam has been considered one of the most attractive destinations for FDI in the region. By April 2014, there have been 16,300 FDI projects with total registered capital of US$238 billion, a big increase compared to the US$40 billion FDI recorded ten years ago. Most noticeably, Viet Nam’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reached the record-high of 53.1 points in April 2014 – the highest level since the first survey conducted in April 2011. This showcases the business confidence in Viet Nam’s economic prospects. Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today not only to tell you about our success stories, but to share and discuss with you in detail the prospects of the Vietnamese economy. I hope that you will see in Viet Nam a friendly country willing to transform itself to create momentums for sustainable development and national resilience. Amid the daunting challenges facing the economy such as unsustainable growth, low productivity and competitiveness, and weak infrastructure,
  4. 4. 3     we are aware that the future and the growth momentums of Viet Nam will lie in the reforms and breakthroughs undertaken within the country as well as the extensive international integration process that Viet Nam is pursuing. I’d like to begin with the first momentum: domestic reforms. Viet Nam is entering a period of deepened transformation and economic restructuring, in which the endogenous resources are closely linked with the external conditions. In the short run, Viet Nam is undertaking three types of restructuring, i.e. (i) banking system restructuring, (ii) public investment restructuring, (iii) state-owned enterprises restructuring. Together with social policies implementation, these restructurings will serve as the foundation to ensure macroeconomic stability and improve national resilience to economic shocks which every country should be cautious of, particularly in the post-crisis phase. We are revising the Investment Law to create more liberal investment climate and simplify investment licensing procedures. The proposed amendments will soon be submitted to the National Assembly for approval. In the medium and long run, Viet Nam is undertaking three strategic breakthroughs i.e. (i) completing the market-economy institutions; (ii) modernizing the infrastructure; and (iii) developing the human resources. Along with this process, we are accelerating the reform and equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). It is our goal to complete equitization of 432 SOEs by 2015. The reform efforts as such will create a driver for Viet Nam to achieve sustainable development, build a competitive, socially-responsible and environmental-friendly economy while creating opportunities for strategic investors with financial capability and governance capacity. It is encouraging to see such reforms receive the enthusiastic endorsement and engagement of the business community, domestic and international investors. Viet Nam considers foreign businesses and
  5. 5. 4     investors an inseparable part of its economy. Therefore, it is essential that the reform efforts must produce more favorable conditions for them. The second growth momentum of Viet Nam lies in its international integration process. We are living in globalized world where cooperation and multi-layered economic linkages present significant development opportunities for all nations. Apart from the efforts to fulfill the WTO commitments and complete the Roadmap for ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Viet Nam, as a dynamic and fast growing economy, is taking part FTA negotiations with most of the world’s leading economic centers, including the Free Trade Agreement with the EU, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and others. With the prospect of finalizing 14 FTAs in 2015-2020, Viet Nam will become an important chain of the wide network of economic linkages involving 55 partners including 15 members of G20. These are the basic foundations for Viet Nam to deepen its regional and international integration, capitalize on the huge external resources for national development, accelerate economic restructuring, and deepen its participation in the global value chains. With such prospect, Viet Nam is not only a potential market with 90 million people but also a gateway to access the vast market of ASEAN with 600 million people, a GDP of US$2.31 trillion (ranked the 9th in the world in terms of scale) and the fastest growing economies in the world. Ladies and Gentlemen, The bilateral trade and investment between Ireland and Viet Nam remain modest. Our two-way trade only stood at over US$1 billion in 2013. Ireland currently has 6 investment projects in Viet Nam with the total registered capital of US$6.25 million, ranking the 69th of 101 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam. Nevertheless, I believe that building on the inherent friendship and traditional relations between the
  6. 6. 5     two countries, our economic, trade and investment ties will take off in the near future. I believe that the relationship between Viet Nam and Ireland is not just a one-sided relationship, for both countries possess many strengths that are complementary. As the first country in the Euro zone escaping the public debt crisis, Ireland has quickly returned to the growth orbit with sky-rocketed increase in export value, and has proven itself to be a promising partner with world-class technology and governance capability. The strengths of Ireland lie in energy, agricultural exports, dairy and pharmaceutical products. These are also the items for which Viet Nam has demand. Besides, Viet Nam wishes to absorb from Ireland its advanced technology and expand cooperation with Ireland in human resources training and pharmacy. I am sure Irish businesses will find in Viet Nam reliable partners who are willing to cooperate with you under various forms such as in joint ventures, business partnership, tri-partite cooperation or Public Private Partnership (PPP). The Vietnamese Government will create every favorable condition for Irish businesses to trade with Viet Nam, and do business and invest in our country, for we believe your success is also our success. Under the Asia-Europe cooperation framework (ASEM), I do hope that Viet Nam and Ireland will increase exchanges and contacts, actively coordinate in the negotiation of the EU – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and in successfully organizing the 14th ASEM Workshop on Human Rights under the theme: “Businesses and Human Rights”. Ladies and Gentlemen, Cooperation and integration represent an irreversible trend, which emerged from the burning desire of all countries and peoples to live in peace, stability and development. It is incumbent upon all of us present here today to fulfill that desire.
  7. 7. 6     I believe that the exchanges and meetings under the framework of this Summit as well as the activities within the Asia Business Week are practical actions that help enhance mutual understanding and create opportunities for cooperation and linkages between Irish and Asian businesses, including Vietnamese ones. And that is an active way to promote the common peace, stability and prosperity. On our part, Viet Nam will work closely with Ireland in promoting Asia- Europe cooperation (ASEM); preparing well for the 10th ASEM Summit in Milan in October 2014 with a view to add substance and efficiency to ASEM dialogue and cooperation. We are fully committed to create the most favorable and healthy environment for the operation of foreign businesses and investors in Viet Nam. I would like to conclude by wishing the Summit every success. I wish you all good health, happiness and success. Thank you./.

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