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UEB Organizes CIECI 2023: Evolving Global Value Chain Participation Into Digital Transformation And Sustainable Development

Global value chain (GVCs), besides economic development benefits, poses long-term and persistent challenges for developing countries, including Vietnam, due to their vulnerability to external factors. To analyze these opportunities and challenges, as well as to offer policy implications and effective recommendations for Vietnam, the International Conference CIECI 2023 on "Promoting GVC Participation towards Digital Transformation and Sustainable Development" was held at the University of Economics and Business - Vietnam National University (UEB-VNU) on November 24, 2023.



This was the 11th installment of the annual conference series on International Economic Cooperation and Integration (CIECI), initiated in 2013. The conference was a collaborative effort between UEB-VNU, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Vietnam (FNF Vietnam), the University of Adelaide, Australia, the University of Salento, Italy, Rangsit University, Thailand, the University of Economics and Law, Vietnam National University HCMC, the Foreign Trade University, Sofia University, Bulgaria, and Saint-Louis University, Brussels, Belgium.

CIECI 2023 attracts the participation of more than 200 international policymakers, experts, scholars...

UEB-VNU's attendees included Associate Professor Dr. Lê Trung Thành - Rector, Associate Professor Dr. Nguyễn Anh Thu - Vice-Rector, and other faculty leaders and lecturers.

Representatives from co-organizing partners included Professor Andreas Stoffers - Country Director of FNF Vietnam; Professor Peter Draper - Director of the International Trade Institute; Professor Shandre Thangavelu – Southeast Asia Director of the International Trade Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia; Professor Fabio Pollice, Rector of the University of Salento, Italy; Professor Sitanon Jesdapipat, Rangsit University, Thailand; Associate Professor Dr. Đào Ngọc Tiến, Vice-Rector of the Foreign Trade University; Dr. Lưu Tiến Dũng - Deputy Head of the Faculty of International Economics, University of Economics and Law, VNU HCMC.

The conference also had the honor of welcoming representatives from the Australian Embassy in Vietnam and received contributions from representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment. CIECI 2023 attracted over 200 policymakers, international experts, scholars, researchers, and students from state agencies, universities, and research institutions.

National and international speakers and guests attended CIECI 2023

At the CIECI 2023 opening, Associate Professor Dr. Lê Trung Thành, Rector of UEB-VNU, welcomed the speakers, experts, scientists, and guests. He highlighted that the discussions would lay the theoretical foundation of global value chains, how countries like Vietnam participate at different levels, and the necessary policies for guiding digital transformation and sustainability. He also mentioned broader topics like international production networks, the green and circular economy, and the relationship between global integration and GVC participation.

Associate Professor, Dr. Le Trung Thanh - Rector of  VNU - University of Economics and Business delivered opening speech at CIECI 2023 

Professor Andreas Stoffers, FNF Vietnam Country Director, commented on the significance of this year's conference in discussing aspects and prospects of GVCs, challenges and benefits for developing and developed countries in integrating principles of the circular economy and digital economy into GVCs, thereby providing valuable policy advice and recommendations.

Professor Andreas Stoffers, FNF Vietnam Country Director spoke at the Conference

Charles Thursby-Pelham, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, shared insights on the theme of CIECI 2023, affirming the role and importance of the recommendations to be presented, contributing to the economic development of countries.

Mr Charles Thursby-Pelham, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, shared insights on the theme of CIECI 2023

Following the opening speeches, UEB-VNU presented the conference proceedings to speakers, experts, and scientists participating in the discussions.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Trung Thanh, Rector and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Anh Thu, Vice Rector of VNU - University of Economics and Business presented the CIECI yearbook to experts and speakers

The conference comprised a main discussion session, a roundtable, and parallel discussion sessions on five main themes: (1) Digital Transformation and Innovation in GVCs; (2) Sustainable Practices in GVCs; (3) Resilience and Governance Issues in GVCs; (4) Models, Characteristics, and Policies of GVCs; and (5) Servitization and Business-Level Analysis in East Asia.

In the morning session, Professor Shandre Thangavelu from the University of Adelaide, Australia, discussed "Strategic Alliances, Regional Integration, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP: Impact on East Asia and ASEAN)". He talked about how East and South Asia faced increasing protectionism and anti-globalization in regional and global trade over the past decade. He also touched on recent instabilities like the COVID-19 pandemic, US-China trade war, Russia-Ukraine military conflict, inflation pressures, GVC disruptions, regional and global economic recessions leading to inward-looking policies, increased protectionism, and trade agreement fragmentation.

Professor Shandre Thangavelu discussed "Strategic Alliances, Regional Integration, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP: Impact on East Asia and ASEAN)" at CIECI 2023

Professor Fabio Pollice from the University of Salento, Italy, emphasized the importance of universities in participating in GVCs and promoting national-level GVC participation. He called for unified trade agreements to reduce policy overlaps, cut trade transaction costs, and limit global and regional trade fragmentation.

Professor Fabio Pollice emphasized the importance of universities participating in Global Value Chains

In the roundtable session, chaired by Associate Professor Dr. Nguyễn Anh Thu, Vice-Rector of UEB-VNU, speakers discussed the impacts of global economic changes like the COVID-19 pandemic, energy crises, political tensions, new trends like the fourth industrial revolution, digital transformation, and sustainable development trends on GVC development and restructuring.

The participation of representatives of Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Planning and Investment… in the roundtable session
Lecturers and students attending asked questions about the main topics of CIECI 2023

The afternoon sessions, hosted by various national and international universities, covered various topics, including digital transformation and innovation in GVCs; sustainable practices in GVCs; resilience and governance in GVCs; models, characteristics, and policies of GVCs; and servitization and business-level analysis in East Asia.

Speakers, lecturers, and students attended the discussion session

The 11th International Conference CIECI concluded successfully, marking a significant milestone in affirming the position, role, and importance in providing valuable research for Vietnam's international economic integration activities. Following the conference, researchers, policymakers, government managers, scientists, and business administrators will have a more comprehensive and valid scientific and practical rationale to maximize the positive impacts of international economic integration on Vietnam's sustainable development goals.

The 11th Conference on International Economic Cooperation and Intergration (CIECI) has ended successfully

Moreover, connecting experts, scholars, lecturers, learners, and businesses domestically and internationally at the conference also contributed to the innovation, development, and improvement of the quality of economics and business education in the context of extensive international economic integration.

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