APEC SOM3 kicks off in Ho Chi Minh City

Tuesday, 2017-08-29 09:39:29
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The APEC SOM3 meeting opens in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29. (Credit: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) began in Ho Chi Minh City, on August 29, which is expected to lay the crucial groundwork for the APEC Leaders’ Week scheduled for November in Da Nang city.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Bui Thanh Son, APEC 2017 SOM Chair, highlighted the strong outlook for the Asia-Pacific region, as he heard at the recent third meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC3).

“But this bright prospect of growth, and also that of trade, hinges on the policy choices and actions by the economies,” he said.

As suggested at ABAC3, the main reasons for the global trade declaration include, among others, weak investment, slower trade liberalisation and a reduced formation of cross-border production chains, Son said.

He, therefore, underscored the need to look carefully into the APEC work to see what measures can be taken.

APEC has done reasonably well so far, particularly with major actions committed by the trade ministers, the APEC SOM 2017 Chair said, noting that progress has been made in all committees, working group and sub-fora, as well as in a number of new initiatives.

To date, over 200 meetings have been held across the numerous work streams of APEC. Over the past ten days alone, a series of almost 80 meetings have been organised, including many significant, high-level events, he said.

“The Food Security Week in Can Tho which concluded with the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in response to Climate Change, produced important results, including the Can Tho Statement and two Action Plans on Food Security and on Rural-Urban Development,” he said.

“The High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy, with the participation of many Health Ministers, sought ways to boost patient-first investment and build the capacity for healthcare financing and access in the region, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a healthy and productive workforce,” Son added.

This SOM 3 is expected to cover a lot of work, including a review of the work of the Economic Committee (EC), the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), the APEC Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE), and the Budget and Management Committee (BMC), and build on the inter-sessional work in order to finalise the proposed outcome documents for potential submission to the ministers and leaders, he said.

According to Son, host Vietnam will also update the APEC member economies on the preparations for the APEC Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang, as well as major events in the lead up, including the Women and the Economy Forum and the SME Ministerial Meeting.

The SOM 2017 Chair expressed his belief that with their combined wisdom and hard work, good will and determination, the APEC economies will secure good outcomes from this meeting and lay the crucial groundwork for a successful Leaders’ week.

The two-day meeting will look into APEC committees’ work in support of the APEC 2017 priorities and SOM-level issues.

The delegates will also discuss the next steps to develop the APEC Post-2020 Vision, including the possibility of a Leaders’ statement on APEC Toward 2020 and Beyond.