APEC strengthens connections for peace and prosperity
Friday, 2016-11-18 05:36:22
NDO—At the invitation of Peruvian President Pablo Kuczynski, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has arrived in Lima to attend the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) Summit from November 17-20.
This significant multilateral event offers an opportunity for national leaders, senior officials and businessmen from the 21 APEC economies to discuss the future of international trade policies, economic growth and measures to improve the living standards of people in the region.
APEC is currently the only regional forum with the participation of the world’s largest economies, including nine from the Group of 20 leading industrialised and emerging economies and many other dynamic economies, accounting for 39% of the global population and contributing 59% and 48% to global GDP and trade, respectively.
APEC cooperation has brought about many significant and substantive achievements in three fields. First, concerning the liberalisation of trade and investment, the total trade value of APEC economies grew seven times from nearly US$3 trillion to US$20 trillion during the 1989-2014 period, which also saw the average tax rate fall from 17% to 5.6%. Regarding business facilitation, trade transaction costs in the region have fallen sharply after 5% cuts in 2006 and 2010 and a 10% cut in 2015. Regarding economic and technical cooperation, each year APEC funds about 150 cooperation and capacity-building projects worth a total of US$23 million.
APEC’s success can also be seen in that fact that its real GDP nearly double from US$15.7 trillion to US$30.3 trillion during the 1989-2012 period and that its per capita GDP increased by 36% on average. APEC economies have signed dozens of free trade agreements and elevated cooperation in a more substantive manner and with a higher level of commitment. Such achievements affirm the position of APEC as the largest economic and trade cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific, and one of the largest cooperation mechanisms in the world.
The APEC Summit is taking place at a time when the global and regional political situation continues to see complicated developments, global and regional economies are in the midst of a slow and rocky recovery and security and environmental issues are strongly affecting the outlook for sustainable development. During the summit, leaders will discuss the status of the global and regional economies and concrete measures to foster trade and investment liberalisation, regional economic links and quality growth.
Under the theme “Quality Growth and Human Development” for 2016, APEC economies have focused on four priority areas, namely advancing regional economic integration and quality growth; enhancing the regional food market; modernising micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and developing human capital. The 24th APEC Summit in Peru is expected to adopt a Leaders’ Declaration and a number of other important documents.
Vietnam joined APEC in 1998, an important milestone in implementing its foreign policy of diversification, multilateralisation and international economic integration. When hosting the APEC Summit in 2006, Vietnam proposed the Hanoi Action Plan to implement the Busan Roadmap towards the Bogor Goals, its most significant and strategic contribution to this mechanism. To date, Vietnam has contributed more than 100 cooperation initiatives in all fields and has adopted many important positions assumed by APEC.
In the years ahead, APEC will continue to be one of the regional mechanisms most significant to Vietnam’s comprehensive international integration. In recognition of Vietnam’s active contributions, APEC members highly endorsed Vietnam’s hosting of the 2017 APEC Summit, which was an opportunity for Vietnam to further contribute to the APEC development process and to confirm the country’s commitment to deepening its international integration and to enhancing its position on the regional and international stage.
President Tran Dai Quang and the Vietnamese delegation are attending the APEC Summit in Peru in the spirit of proactive and active integration. In addition to attending and making contributions to the official agenda of the APEC Summit, President Tran Dai Quang is also scheduled to meet the leaders of other countries and international companies.
It is hoped that President Tran Dai Quang’s working visit will succeed in enhancing Vietnam’s position and advancing issues that Vietnam and ASEAN share an interest in. The visit is also expected to further deepen bilateral relations between Vietnam and key partners and to promote investment by APEC businesses in Vietnam, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and in the world at large.