Auto manufacturers from member countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations discussed the use of bio-fuels as an alternative to petrol in a bid to reduce environmental pollution at an industry forum in Ha Noi yesterday.
HA NOI —
The two-day long 12th ASEAN Automobile Industry Forum drew representatives from nine countries in the Southeast Asian region.
Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang said that the meeting's host country Viet Nam encouraged the manufacture of environmentally-friendly vehicles that use clean fuel.
"The country expects that by 2020 the use of clean fuel in vehicles will account for 5 per cent of conventional energy," said Quang.
Commenting on the nation's plans to develop the auto industry, Quang said the domestic auto industry would prioritise working with its partners in the ASEAN bloc to boost links and the association's role.
According to a report from the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers' Association (VAMA), the country's auto industry was 20 to 30 years behind other countries.
"As a result, Viet Nam's automotive industry is still incapable of satisfying domestic demands".
"Despite the opportunities to expand with Free Trade Agreements, the local industry faces a number of challenges."
The report said Viet Nam had a low rate of car ownership, at about 15 for every 1,000 people.
The country's poor transportation infrastructure, relatively small amount of car parking and frequent traffic jams in urban areas were also big challenges for the sector.
In addition, high domestic vehicles assembling costs and a lack of supplies for automotive support businesses were also a big problem.
"But with a high growth rate, the country is an increasingly desirable market for auto industry expansion."
A representative from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said ASEAN's auto industries had huge potential for development.
"Japanese automakers had invested in ASEAN countries for a long time and their investment has proved to be effective and able to raise the competitiveness of the ASEAN-Japan auto industry to rival big car producers like China , India and South Korea," said Shigeaki Tanaki, Director of Japan's Automobile Division Manufacturing Industries Bureau (METI).
Participants at meetings tied to the forum also discussed the deployment of auto industry-related commitments in the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the streamlining of customs procedures for auto products and standardisation of the auto industry across the bloc. — VNS