Workshop evaluates Brexit impacts on ASEAN

Wednesday, 2016-08-03 17:14:10
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At the workshop (Credit: khampha.vn)
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NDO/VNA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) could enjoy a number of advantages afforded by a British exit from the EU, which is expected to facilitate the signing of free trade agreements and lure more UK investments to the group, experts said at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on August 3.

The workshop, themed “Brexit and ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) from the perspective of integration”, heard that ASEAN-EU trade reached EUR201.4 billion (roughly US$227 billion) in 2015, up EUR21.8 billion or 12.14%.

The figures prove that the EU is one of the ten-member group’s important export-import markets.

ASEAN holds great potential for trade cooperation with the EU, as the bloc serves as a market and a gateway for the union to access Asia-Pacific. Most Southeast Asian nations regard the EU as a strategic partner and hope for enhanced economic ties with the union across many fields.

The experts suggested that as Brexit has temporarily lowered the UK’s economic and political positions, the country may turn its eyes towards Asia-Pacific.

Apart from the European market, the UK may pay heed to diversifying its own trade and easing the dependence on its neighbours following Brexit, they forecast, adding that Asia would be a promising destination for the country.

This will create optimal conditions for the AEC on its path towards a united market where trade and investment are liberalised in a bid to raise ASEAN’s competitiveness globally, they said.

In the long-run, this is a good opportunity for ASEAN, including Vietnam, to beef up trade and investment ties with the EU, they said, noting that ASEAN member countries could learn how to adapt to economic and political changes through the event.

Associate Professor, Dr. Luu Ngoc Trinh from the Institute of World Economics and Politics said that Brexit has exerted indirect impacts on Vietnam’s export activities, explaining that although the country’s exports to the EU make up only 0.14% of its total export value, the devaluation of the pound and the euro has resulted in fiercer export competition, especially as Vietnam’s rivals also devalue their currencies.