Industry 4.0 can catalyze ASEAN development: Vietnam PM

By Ha Thu, Bich Ngoc   September 11, 2018 | 08:00 pm GMT+7
Industry 4.0 can catalyze ASEAN development: Vietnam PM
The World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 is hosted in Hanoi from September 11 to 13, 2018. Photo by Reuters
Vietnam and ASEAN should seize growth opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

In his statement "The 2018 WEF-ASEAN - to Join Hands in Building the ASEAN Community in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era" released Tuesday, Phuc said the world was changing quickly because of technological developments that mark the Industry 4.0, and it was incumbent upon ASEAN, including Vietnam to keep pace with it.

As the event’s host, Vietnam will join other ASEAN countries to discuss important ideas that will contribute to realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. 

ASEAN, including Vietnam, leading multinational corporations, Vietnamese businesses and other stakeholders are also expected to focus on discussing and proposing ideas and visions on the development and integration of ASEAN countries in the context of the Industry 4.0.

The Prime Minister noted that ASEAN needs to identify and generate new impetus for the fourth industrial revolution, accelerating reforms while focusing on sustainable, inclusive growth.

He also stressed the need to enhance connections between ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and other countries through digital connectivity, digital commerce, financial technology (fintech), supply chain connectivity, high-quality infrastructure, hi-tech agriculture and other modes to sustain dynamic growth of the bloc.

Member nations should also work to strengthen ASEAN's centrality in the region, enhancing self-reliance while adapting to the rapid changes in the world and the region, Phuc said.

With over 60 sessions, WEF ASEAN 2018 topics will include startups, new business models, digital economy, digital knowledge and skills, training and settlement, employment, narrowing the development gap and sustainable poverty reduction.

Vietnamese perspective

WEF on ASEAN 2018 is a good opportunity for Vietnam to highlight, for the attention of investors and the international community, its policies, reforms and willingness to further integrate internationally.

The PM said it is also an event to show the image of a peaceful, politically stable, dynamic, open, fast-developing Vietnam who is a responsible partner in the region and the world.

"Vietnam will also use the WEF ASEAN 2018 to deepen its relations with neighboring countries and strategic partners."

Multiple events will highlight Vietnam’s attractions, including the Vietnam Business Summit and Vietnam Cultural Festival.

Deep transformations

At an open forum on Tuesday titled “ASEAN 4.0 for all?”, Vietnam’s Minister of Science and Technology, Chu Ngoc Anh, said that the fourth industrial revolution was deeply transforming social life in Vietnam and other countries in the region.

The revolution will bring opportunities for ASEAN youths to transform ideas into products and launch successful startups, he said.

Chu said businesses and startups were the core of a nation’s economy and will play an important role in economic growth and sustainable development.

Minister Anh proposed that delegates focus on ideas and initiatives to promote cooperation among ASEAN countries and global partners towards making Southeast Asia a hub for innovative startups. "This would help countries in the region master and exploit achievements of the Industry 4.0." 

He also affirmed Vietnam’s constant readiness to cooperate with the WEF and ASEAN members in connecting businesses, pooling science and technology resources and using regional and global networks to promote innovation.

Don’t miss the train

At a press conference before the forum, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said it was most important that people remain at the center of the revolution.

People should not become slaves to robots, which are only tools to serve them, he said.

The fourth industrial revolution should not be considered a threat but an opportunity for Vietnam and other countries in the region to become more competitive, he added.

“Countries that miss the 4.0 train will fail, ” he cautioned.

About 1, 000 representatives of multinationals and 800 from local businesses are attending WEF ASEAN 2018 held in Hanoi from Tuesday to Thursday.

With the theme “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ” speakers at the three-day event will focus on the future of work, geopolitics, innovation, entrepreneurship, trade and inclusive growth.

Leaders of all ASEAN member countries and politicians, economists, academics, and representatives from 43 countries are taking part in the forum.

This is the second time that Vietnam is hosting a WEF event, after an earlier one in 2010.

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