WEF ASEAN 2018: The most successful regional meeting of WEF

The World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) 2018 themed: “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution” held in Hanoi is the most successful regional meeting of the WEF, stated WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Prof. Klaus Schwab.
The event saw the presence of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong at its opening session. Cabinet members, including the Prime Minister, deputy prime ministers and seven ministers actively joined the WEF’s seminars to discuss and share experiences with other countries. 

The event with 60 sessions was attended by leaders of ASEAN member countries and partner countries, and representatives of 1,000 multinational groups and 800 domestic businesses.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab co-chaired WEF ASEAN 2018 which took place in Hanoi on September 11-13. The forum focused on discussing and proposing initiatives, orientations and policies to tap the potential, creativity and dynamism of the people and enterprises torward building a people-centered, dynamic, strong and prosperous ASEAN community.

WEF Executive Chairman Schwab said Industry 4.0 will bring fundamental and breakthrough changes in business models, economies and societies. Global competition will be shaped by competitiveness instead of cost factors. In this context, the countries succeeding in mastering Industry 4.0 will have innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

To have successful directions in Industry 4.0, ASEAN governments need to create favorable conditions for start-ups as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The coordination between governments and businesses is very important to obtain progress in Industry 4.0, he noted.

He expressed his belief that ASEAN countries, with appropriate visions, the best policies, young population and high entrepreneurial spirit, will take the lead in this revolution.

 Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, WEF Founder
and Executive Chairman Prof. Klaus Schwab and leaders of ASEAN member countries
at the opening session the WEF ASEAN 2018. Photo: VNA

The event with 60 sessions is attended by leaders of ASEAN member countries and partner countries,
and representatives of 1,000 multinational groups and 800 domestic businesses. Photo: Tri Dung/VNA

 WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Prof. Klaus Schwab delivers a speech
at the opening session of the forum. Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA 

 The forum discusses important regional and international issues. Photo: VNA 

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the plenary session
themed “A new vision for the Mekong region”. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA 

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh attends the Asia’s Geopolitical Outlook panel session.
Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung attends Grow Asia Forum 2018. Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam discusses at the session on the Future of Jobs in ASEAN .
Photo: Nguyen Khang/VNA 

 Within the framework of the forum, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue
meets with leaders of more than 50 global finance and technology groups. Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA

The Open Forum themed ASEAN 4.0 for All. Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA  

 A session discussing ASEAN's overseas resources. Photo: Lam Khanh/VNA

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh addresses the closing session of the forum.
Photo: VNA

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc analyzed opportunities that Industry 4.0 brings to ASEAN member states. He mentioned breakthroughs in productivity in the five major industries: electronics, chemicals and oil and gas, consumer goods, food, and pharmaceutical. It is also necessary to promote more inclusive growth towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by applying Industry 4.0 to create connectivity and share new values and innovations.

According to the report on “Technology and future of ASEAN jobs”, the bloc has 630 million people and 90% of them have  access to the internet. By 2020-2022, the region is expected to have technological breakthroughs and innovations, thus creating new jobs. 
Regarding challenges facing ASEAN, the Vietnamese Prime Minister pointed to the risk of job loss to automation, quoting statistics of the International Labor Organization that 56 percent of jobs in five ASEAN countries are at risk.  He noted Industry 4.0 can raise income for the people and countries with talent and knowledge, but it can also widen income gap and increase the risk of social instability.

Facing those opportunities and challenges, PM Phuc asked ASEAN countries to prioritise such fields as digital connectivity, data sharing, harmonising the business environment, promoting the formation and connection of innovation incubators, seeking and tapping into talents, and forming an ASEAN education network and the lifelong learning systems.

Speaking at the forum, Singaporean Prime Minsiter Lee Hsien Loong underlined ASEAN member states are in a good position to take advantage of the new opportunities that Industry 4.0 can bring. ASEAN will become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030, after the US, China and the European Union.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said that ASEAN should maintain its centralization and unification and hand over more power to enterprises; and create suitable mechanisms for the businesses themselves to adapt in the new competitiveness.

In Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen’s point of view, ASEAN needs to improve infrastructure, increase connection with other regions and well prepare for dealing with risks. Especially, the bloc should f
ocus on enhancing the quality of education and skill training, addressing job losses and developing social protection system to address economic and social inequality. 

The forum discussed practical issues, such as promoting innovative start-ups; the future of jobs in ASEAN; opportunities, challenges and current trends of the healthcare system in ASEAN; road traffic safety; and tapping ASEAN's overseas resources.

Assessing the outcomes of the event, Klaus Schwab said that the WEF ASEAN 2018 was not only successful in terms of content but also organization work.

The success of WEF ASEAN 2018 affirmed Vietnam's increasing role and position in the ASEAN, regional and international arena.

 President Tran Dai Quang hosts a reception for State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi.
Photo: Nhan Sang/VNA

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China Hu Chunhua.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

 The Vietnamese Prime Minister receives WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Prof. Klaus Schwab.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has a reception for Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

He also receives South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

The Vietnamese Prime Minister receives Google's President of Asia-Pacific Karim Temsamani.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA 

Prime Minister Phuc has a bilateral meeting with his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Sen.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

 He also has a bilateral meeting with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA 

 He hosts a reception for Chief Executive Officer for the Mekong River Commission Secretariat Pham Tuan Phan.
Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

There are nearly 7,900 articles on  WEF ASEAN 2018 (as compared with over 2,000 articles on WEF ASEAN 2017), and 7 million interactions on social networks for the forum, with 13,000 articles and comments on Facebook and 90,000 views on sessions of WEF ASEAN 2018



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