Hosting the World Economic Forum ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) in September will enhance Vietnam’s position and show its responsibility to the international community during the process of international integration, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Son, head of the organising board of the event, said that the WEF ASEAN is taking place with the world witnessing rapid and complicated developments, along with the fourth industrial revolution that is intensively impacting the global economy. He said that the theme of the forum “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution” proposed by Vietnam, is relevant to the ASEAN theme of “self-reliant and innovative ASEAN”, as it show the solidarity, dynamism and self-reliance of ASEAN countries in taking advantage of and overcoming challenges from Industry 4.0.

Major contents of the event include the building of infrastructure systems and smart cities, the development of high technology agriculture amidst Industry 4.0 and creating jobs in the context of abundant workforces in ASEAN.

ASEAN members and the international community will also share their views on suitable policies for the grouping, said Son.

He said that within the event, Vietnam will hold a forum on innovative vision on September 11, which will be chaired by the Minister of Science and Technology and the WEF to share experience on innovative startups.

Vietnam has also proposed holding a business summit to discuss how Vietnamese firms should respond to Industry 4.0.

Deputy FM Son said that so far, most ASEAN leaders have confirmed their participation.

ASEAN, grouping Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is the world’s sixth-largest economy with 630 million people, of whom, 260 million have regular access to the internet. The number is expected to increase to 480 million by 2020. In Vietnam, about 60 percent of the 93 million population are under 35 years of age. They have access to new technology and about 55 percent of the population uses the internet.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), about 56 percent of the workforce of five ASEAN countries, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, are at high risk of being replaced by new technologies in about two decades.

Vietnam and the World Economic Forum will co-host WEF ASEAN 2018 in Hanoi from September 11 to 13.

This is one of Vietnam’s biggest foreign events this year, attracting more than 1,000 domestic and international delegates.

The WEF ASEAN 2018 co-hosting is the initiative of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab- VNA.

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