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ASEAN senior SEOM discusses economic cooperation initiativeseconomic officials have discussed a wide range of pressing issues and economic cooperation initiatives for 2013.

The ASEAN Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM), attracting delegations from 10 ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat, was held in Hanoi on March 7 as a prelude to the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat.

The AEM Retreat runs in Hanoi until March 9 and is the major event of the year for discussion of economic aspects within ASEAN.

The focus of the SEOM was on the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint for 2015 and the finalization of reports for submission to ASEAN Economic Ministers.

Documents expected to be signed by ASEAN economic ministers were also scrutinized at the meeting.

ASEAN, one of Vietnam’s most important trading and investment partners, is the nation’s third largest export market and the second largest supplier of goods for domestic businesses.

Vietnam’s trade turnover to ASEAN member countries reached more than US$38 billion in 2012.

The 19th ASEAN Economic Minsters’ Retreat gives participants the chance to discuss essential initiatives to boost regional economic cooperation and set goals for ASEAN economic integration towards the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

Within the framework of the 19th AEM Retreat, the 12th Consultative Meeting between ASEAN Economic Ministers and EU Trade Commissioners will also be held on March 9 to discuss the programs and initiatives to promote economic cooperation and trade and investment relations between the two regions.

Vietnam is currently the coordinating country for ASEAN-EU economic cooperation.

(VOV)

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