Promoting comprehensive international integration and positively contributing to APEC

Tuesday, 2015-11-17 04:36:20
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President Truong Tan Sang arrives in Manila, the Philippines on November 17 to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - President Truong Tan Sang and his spouse left Hanoi for Manila, the Philippines, on November 17 to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, at the invitation of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.

Themed ‘Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World’, the APEC 23 will contribute to further strengthening its leading role in promoting regional growth and economic connectivity, as well as supporting its member countries to achieve development goals and promote regional co-operation.

Founded on November 11, 1989, APEC currently comprises 21 members. This is the only regional forum that brings together developing and developed economies that are strongly dedicated to building a stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific community. Representing approximately 40% of the world’s population, 54% of global economic output and 44% of total trade, APEC maintains its status as the largest Asia-Pacific economic and trade co-operation mechanism by strengthening its links with the world’s value and supply chains, and improving business climates.

APEC has grown to become a dynamic engine of economic growth and one of the most important regional forums in the Asia-Pacific. As a result of APEC’s work, growth has soared in the region, with real GDP doubling from just US$15.7 trillion in 1989 to US$31 trillion in 2013. Meanwhile, residents of the Asia-Pacific saw their per capita income rise by 45%, lifting millions out of poverty and creating a growing middle class in just over two decades. Average tariffs fell from 17% in 1989 to 5.2% in 2012.

The 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is taking place in the context of rapid changes and unexpected fluctuations occurring in the word. Co-operation and development continue to be the dominant trend in international relations, however, tensions and challenges in a number of hot spots are also escalating. The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the engine of global economic growth and integration. The event will focus on sustainable and inclusive growth; economic connectivity; multilateral trading systems; the promotion of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises; and the creation of a resilient, sustainable community.

Vietnam joined APEC in 1998, marking a milestone in pursuing a diplomatic policy guided by openness, diversification, multilateralisation and integration in the world economy. Over the past years, Vietnam has become an active player in APEC, chairing APEC in 2006 and hosting the 14th APEC Summit, the 18th APEC Foreign and Economic Ministerial Meeting and more than 100 events. In addition, Vietnam has strived for the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and implemented the Hanoi action plan to achieve the Bogor goals, and a number of reforms to create new momentum for APEC’s co-operation. Since 2006, Vietnam has proposed and participated in over 90 initiatives covering a wide range of areas such as trade, investment, economic-technical co-operation, emergency response, health care, anti-terrorism, food and energy security, and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

During its new development period, Vietnam has regarded APEC as one of the most valued and useful regional mechanisms for global integration with a focus on co-operation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC is a forum converging almost all of Vietnam’s leading economic and strategic business partners. Vietnam continues to promote its positive role in APEC and is joining hands with APEC member economies to host the 25th APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting in 2017, marking another outstanding contribution made by Vietnam to the development of APEC in the coming time, as well as enhancing Vietnam's position in the international arena.

While attending the main activities of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Manila, President Truong Tan Sang will hold important talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to further promote the friendly relations and comprehensive co-operation which is developing well in almost all areas between Vietnam and the Philippines, contributing to elevating the bilateral ties. In recent years, bilateral trade volume between the two countries has seen steady growth, reaching nearly US$3 billion in 2014. In addition to co-operation in the field of agriculture, the two countries have great potential for co-operation in the field of fisheries, education, training, culture, sports and tourism. Both sides have actively implemented the signed agreements of co-operation in security and defense, considering maritime co-operation one of the main pillars in the relationship between the two countries. Vietnam and the Philippines coordinate and cooperate closely within the framework of ASEAN, ASEM, APEC, the UN and other international forums.

The success of the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the visit to the Philippines made by President Truong Tan Sang will certainly help promote regional co-operation and connectivity, as well as heighten the position of Vietnam and the Philippines, contributing to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the Asia-Pacific.

NHAN DAN