Tribute to HO CHI MINH-the great Leader ofd Vietnam at Asean Park in Intramuros. Photo shows H. E. Nguyen Thac Dinh-Former Ambassador of Vietnam to the Philippines, President Luis T. Arriola of the Philippine-Vietnam Friendship Association, President Vu Van Tam of the Vietnam- Philippine Friendship Association and Former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Mrs. Quach To Nga.
The development of the Viet Nam – Philippines relations have brought about seen remarkable achievements developments in various many areas of cooperation over the past yearsin recent years. On November 17, 2015, Viet Nam and the Philippines elevated bilateral relations to Strategic Partnership after seamless efforts exerted and political will shared by the two countries. This has since paved the way for stronger cooperation in political affairs between the two countries, which at the same time have also been was consolidated through the regular exchange of delegations and visits between both our governments, ministriesMinis-tries, provinces and institutions as well as people-to-people contacts.
Our eEconomic cooperation has also enjoyed positive developments with through the continued yearly increase of two way bilateral trade volume. An impressive growth in two way trade volume has been recorded fFrom just $541 million in 2000, trade has risen to $3 billion in 2015, $3.2 billion in 2016, $4 billion in 2017, and to $4.7 billion in 2018. Within the ﬁrst three months of 2019, our bilateral trade has reached $1.8 billion, a 20% year-on-year increase. Vietnam and the Philippines are currently each other’s ﬁfth largest trading partners within ASEAN. It is an increasingly encouraging positive sign to see more and more Filipino enterprises investing in Viet Nam. As of end of May 2019, Filipino companies’ were investing ment was recorded at a total of $328 million in Viet Nam, ranking 27th out of 126 nations and territories investing in Viet Nam. The Vietnamese investors are also getting more excited to anxious to explore potential opportunities for their business in the Philippines. Currently, tThe Viet Nam – Phil-ippines Joint Trade Committee (JTC) is currently the major main mechanism for boosting bilateral economic cooperation between the two sides. Our cooperation in other sectors ﬁelds such as education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges has have also been further strengthened over the years with more pro-active interactions from both sides.
Strategic Partners with common goals, jointly moving forward
While the Viet Nam – Philippines Strategic Partnership maybe indicative of our overall bilateral relations, the task of further deepening We have reason to be proud of the progress made thus far in relations. But our pride will be even greater this relationship, if we are able to allowing our people and businesses to better grasp untapped potentials and opportunities for deeper greater cooperation and more concrete beneﬁts will truly be the most sustainable way of further securing our bilateral ties. To this end, it is in the two sides’ interests are to working closely towards the implementation of the 2019 – 2024 Plan of Action adopted just this March.
Viet Nam will be the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, and the international community has recently expressed their conﬁdence in Viet Nam’s ability to take greater part in issues of global peace and security with our successful candidature as non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council for the 2020 – 2021 term. Our time at the UNSC will also overlap with Indonesia’s tenure during 2019 -2020. This is a prime opportunity for us, as members of ASEAN, to highlight ASEAN interests and issues of concern on the world stage, and to foster closer dialogues and partnerships with regional and global bodies. These exchanges will can serve to further understanding of ASEAN, the ASEAN way, of our centrality to in the region, our role in working to provide a secure, stable environment that is open to business, that puts people at the heart of our policies, for development and prosperity in the region as a whole. Viet Nam will work towards this goal, and we look forward to the support of our Strategic Partner, the Philippines, in achieving it together.
Viet Nam – an investment destination of choice
Over 3 decades Viet Nam has transformed from a war-torn, ec-onomically-isolated country into a dynamic economic powerhouse in the region, thanks to the consistent pursuance of the policy of “Doi Moi” (Renovation). It is the 45th largest economy in the world at $241 billion (nominal), the 15th largest country in terms of population (over 95 million), with a young population – the median age at just nearly 31.
Continuous Reform and Economic Integration
Following Doi Moi, Viet Nam’s integration and economic growth picked up speed accelerated since in 1995 after the when it normalized relations with the United States lifted its economic embargo, joined ASEAN and has especially moved grown even faster forward since the country joineding the World Trade Organization in 2007. Today, it has trading relations with over 200 countries and territories..
Its Viet Nam’s path integration into with the global trade trading system has been methodical, a step-by-step process. marked by It a number of signiﬁcant milestones, joined such as joining the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Paciﬁc Partnership (CPTPP) and entered into other free trade agreements (FTAs) between ASEAN and partners (China, Australia and New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and India), bilateral and its own signing of FTAs with South Korea, Ja-pan, the Eurasia Economic Union, and European Union, and most recently, into the next-generation, high-quality Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Paciﬁc Partnership (CPTPP).
Today, Viet Nam’s GDP structure economy has been is shifting towards a modern and industrialized economy, with the contribution by the agricultural make up of its GDP is e gradually declining, to be replaced by and being taken up
by manufacturing and services.
Why Viet Nam?
In the context of global uncertainties, Viet Nam has taken steps to consolidate macro-economic foundations and reform institutions. The country recognizes that greater reforms are critical to accelerate and improve growth quality. Overall, monetary policy is showing prudence and ﬂexibility, and close coordination is maintained with ﬁscal and dynamic trade policies. Against this backdrop, innovation is considered vital to creating breakthroughs, and could soon be a major source of growth. The boom in FDI is the result of a series of efforts by the people and government of Viet Nam to roll out the red carpet for foreign investors. The attractiveness of Viet Nam’s favorable business environment can be attributed has been thanks to the following six factors:
(1) Golden Prime demographics and a competitive workforce: Viet Nam’s workforce is characterized as being young, highly-disciplined, hard-working, quick-to-learn, adaptableadaptive, and committed. According to the General Statistics Ofﬁce of Viet Nam, tThe working population accounts for around 58.7% of the total population, reaching 55.7 million in 2018. As a result of With the introduction of government’s the government policy to to promote promote a knowledge-based economy, workforce qualiﬁcations have been continually improvedon the rise. The literacy rate for The ratio of literate people those over 15 years of age was 95.8% in April, 1, 2019.
(2) Economic resilience: After strong performance in 2017 and 2018, Vietnam’s economy has continued to stay strong. Its buffer of international reserves is being managed through healthy export performance and FDI inﬂows. Internally, public ﬁnance is being managed via more rapid equitiza-tion of SOEs as well as gradual reforms of the tax and expenditure systems. Viet Nam’s economy is taking off dramatically and the country’s achievements in growth, trade, and welfare have opened up abundant business opportunities to both domestic and foreign investors.
GDP growth is expected to continue to hover at around 6.8%, inﬂation at 4%, and the current account is projected to stay in surplus at 2.2% of GDP. Real wages grew nearly 5% in the ﬁrst half of 2019 and unemployment is reported at 2.16%.
According to the World Bank analysis, the average trade weight-ed tariffs for Vietnamese export-ers to CPTPP markets will fall from 1.7% to 0.2% and non-tariff measure are expected to decline by 3.6 percentage points on average in ad-valorem tariff-equivalent terms. By 2030, this translates into estimated additional GDP growth of 1.1%. The sectors that will reap the largest beneﬁts are food, beverages and tobacco, clothing and leather, textiles, some manufacturing, and services.
(3) Availability of natural resources: Viet Nam has been endowed by nature with the prerequisites to welcome foreign investment: The abundance availability of land (33 million ha), water (835,000 million cu m3 per year), minerals resources (fossil fuels, bauxite, nonferrous metal, and industrial and construction mineralsmaterial…), tropical forests, and marine resources. make Viet Nam well prepared to welcome foreign investment.
(4) Market access, openness and increasing transparency in governance: In addition to having the 15th largest population in the world, with 96.2 million people, and geographical proximity to international supply chains and logistics ports and hubs, Viet Nam has also taken tremendous great steps in reaching out to global markets through proactive participation in many signiﬁcant major economic fora. Apart from being access in to the ASEAN market and enjoying accessing its ASEAN multilateral FTAs with major trading partners in the region, via bilateral FTAs, Viet Nam also has bilateral FTAs also engaged with almost all of the world’s largest economies and trading blocs, including European countries (the EVFTA), Japan (the JVEPA and the AJFTA), China (ACFTA), and Russia (the EAEU FTA), ). which These are the prerequisites that will help open grant up not only market access but also new business opportunities and market access for both Vietnamese and foreign investors.
Viet Nam today is one of the most open economies in the world. Total trade value in 2018 was nearly double that of its GDP. The country has seen continued improvements in its business competitiveness ranking for many consecutive years, and greater openness and transparency is high on the agenda of the government in order to facilitate increasingly business-friendly environment.
(5) Business-friendly environment: Recognizing the importance of FDI in job creation and technology transfer, the Vietnamese Government has been proactively in improvinged its investment attraction environment. Having identiﬁed businesses and people as the center of its operations, The the Government has stepped up equi-tization of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), structural reforms in banking and ﬁnance, as well as SOEs, and public spendingexpenditures and, administrative reforms to carried out under Resolutions No.19 in 2014 and 2015 on simplifying procedures and cutting administrative costs, and attempts to better meet the demands of the public and private sector, as well as to meet the average of the bar for the ASEAN-4 grouping. in time needed to complete tax obligations by 2020 are among the efforts that illustrate the government’s priority in FDI attraction.
(6) Political & social stabilstability and order by tourists, and is an ideal investment destination for international investors. In its steady adaptation to the worldIn the course of international and regional integration, Viet Nam possesses an ideal’s stable political environment has allowed for greater continuity and predictability of policies, and been a boon for investors’ conﬁdence and peace of mind. The great attention given to social harmony among its 54 ethnic groups has shielded it with little threat from terrorism, ethnic conﬂicts or racial strife, and low unemployment . With has resulted in a very low crime rates as well./., according to the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, Viet Nam’s safe society, stable government and social structure make it an ideal place for investors. Viet Nam scores credit from the FDI community in labor quality (labor market efﬁciency, health and primary education), market access (market size and goods market efﬁciency) and ﬁnancial market development, among others.
ity: Viet Nam today enjoys has long been regarded as a “peaceful country”, excellent security, social