Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to welcome all the delegates to the Symposium on Implementation of ASEAN Roadmap for Logistics Services Integration held in Da Nang, Viet Nam by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam (MOIT), in coordination with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the Conference of Asia Pacific Express Carriers (CAPEC) and ASEAN Secretariat in the framework of the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN Economic Community Council, the 42nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related Meetings.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Globalization and the development of science and technology have resulted in robust development of logistics services to be in line with increased demands of global trade. Developing logistics services has became an important objective in ASEAN member countries’ policies. Being aware of this trend, since 2005, at the 37th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, ASEAN Economic Ministers chose logistics to be a priotized sector in ASEAN’s economic integration process and instructed ASEAN Senior Economic Officials to build up a roadmap to liberalize logistics service in ASEAN. The Roadmap aims at speeding up the liberalization and facilitation of logistics services by 2013 and in long term, make ASEAN a logistics center in Asia-Pacific region. The Roadmap for Logistics Service Integration in ASEAN is consistent with ASEAN’s common wish of accelerating regional connectivity towards the goal of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. As a “catalyst” through the whole supply chain, from the supply of input materials, management of production, to “output” and delivery of products to consumers, logistics services integration is expected to further accelerate the connectivity among production sectors within and among ASEAN’s member countries, contributing to turn ASEAN into a single market and a single production base as envisaged in the Blueprint on ASEAN Economic Community.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To date, ASEAN member countries have implemented the Roadmap for Logistics Services Integration for more than 2 years. It is time we reviewed collectively what we have achieved so far to make assessement on the progresses as well as shortcomings for further improvement. Being a general and high-tech service, the management of logistics services requires the involvement of different sectors, including transportation, trade, customs and information technology. The implementation of logistics integration roadmap at regional level needs concerted determination and close coordination in policies, technical requirements compatibility, legal framework as well as development plan of infrastructure among countries.

As a coordinator in ASEAN, Viet Nam has made much efforts to fulfill the Roadmap for Logistics Services Integration together with ASEAN member countries. We believe that the development of logistics service will enhance trading efficiency in ASEAN, further consolidate the ASEAN Connectivity Initiative, thus creating a momentum for ASEAN to maintain stability and dynamism in the regional economic development.

This Symposium in one of regional events to discuss on logistics services, which constitutes one of 5 prioritized service sectors for fast integration in ASEAN. The attendance of policy makers, companies and associations working in the field of logistics at the Symposium today reveals the increasing interests in logistics service integration in the region. I hope that all participants in the Symposium will actively share views and recommendations from your own and your company’s perspectives on the implementation of the roadmap and based on that, policy makers can make proper adjustments to meet the demands of businesses.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, I would like to express my gratitute to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, the Conference of Asia-Pacific Express Carriers and ASEAN Secretariat for their great contributions to this Symposium.

In that spirit, I would like to open the Symposium on Implementation of ASEAN Roadmap for Logistics Services Integration.

I wish you all good health and happiness. May our Symposium achieve a great success.

Thank you.