APEC asserts Vietnam’s new vision and position

Monday, 2017-11-06 11:14:34
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NDO - The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week kicks off today in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang, the peak of a series of events which have been taking place throughout the year, under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”.

During the week, leaders of the 21 APEC member economies and approximately 10,000 domestic and international delegates will attend eight main events, with the focus being the APEC Summit scheduled for November 11.

At the summit, the leaders will present and discuss their ideas, initiatives and suggestions on actions to foster stronger changes and bring about substantive benefits to people and enterprises. They will also outline the development directions for APEC in the time ahead, especially in maintaining economic cooperation, expanding trade and investment and increasing regional links so that APEC member economies can seize all opportunities and effectively respond to the challenges posed in a dramatically changing world with many intertwined opportunities and challenges.

APEC was founded in November 1989, with 12 original members, as an open economic forum to strengthen economic cooperation and foster trade and investment. After four rounds of enlargement in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1998, APEC now consists of 21 member economies, representing 39% of the global population, 57% of the global GDP and 49% of global trade.

Over the past 28 years, APEC has demonstrated that it is a leading economic cooperation mechanism in the region. Through a wide range of programmes, initiatives and concrete actions, APEC member economies have increasingly attached importance to and proactively fostered regional cooperation and links in a more substantive and effective manner.

Although complex developments have emerged in the region and the world, with headwinds against globalisation and economic connectivity, APEC remains the most economically dynamic region in the world and one of the largest markets in terms of size and growth potential with a growing middle class.

Therefore, the theme "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” selected by Vietnam for the APEC Year 2017 is highly meaningful, helping to shape APEC's cooperation directions, foster trade liberalisation and investment, strengthen regional economic links and create new dynamism for growth in the Asia-Pacific region and each member economy.

Promoting the spirit of equal, mutually beneficial, voluntary and non-binding cooperation is necessary to ensure APEC's dynamism and appeal in a region that is diverse in history, culture and development levels as APEC is taking the final steps to complete the Bogor Goals on trade liberalisation and investment by 2020 for all of its member economies.

Vietnam officially became an APEC member in 1998. For nearly 20 years, Vietnam has been proud to be an important part of APEC's cooperation process by continuously demonstrating its active efforts and responsibilities, while making many contributions to the success of the organisation.

To Vietnam, APEC is one of the most important multi-lateral forums with the most substantive benefits. APEC membership provides many opportunities for Vietnam to foster its regional and international integration, while increasing its internal strengths and stepping up reform, and promoting its role and position as a responsible member of the international community.

APEC is home to 13 of Vietnam's 25 strategic and comprehensive partners, as well as many key economic and trading partners. 18 APEC members are Vietnam's major partners in bilateral and multi-lateral free trade agreements. APEC members account for 78% of foreign direct investment, 75% of trade value, 38% of official development assistance and 79% of international tourists in Vietnam. Approximately 80% of Vietnamese overseas students are studying in APEC member economies.

Vietnam's success at hosting the APEC Summit in 2016 and the countries increasing reputation in the international stage through assuming many roles at international organisations in recent years, has helped Vietnam to host the APEC Year 2017 with a new attitude. Continuing the achievements of APEC cooperation in the past while, Vietnam has cooperated closely with other member economies and the business community to pursue their shared goals under the theme "Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”.

To date, Vietnam has hosted nearly 200 meetings on four major priorities: promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; deepening regional economic integration; strengthening MSMEs' competitiveness and innovation in the digital age; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change. These topics receive the interest of APEC member economies and are in line with the general trend in international cooperation, as well as reflecting Vietnam's socio-economic development needs in the new period.

The success of hosting APEC meetings and events since the start of the year is an important prerequisite and a fundamental preparatory step for the success of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and the outlining of APEC's development direction in the future.

The APEC Year 2017 is also an opportunity for Vietnam to deepen its established partnerships in a stable and sustainable manner, especially increasing the long-term benefits with key APEC members.

The APEC Year 2017 is a focus of Vietnam's diplomacy and one of the country's most important contributions to APEC cooperation in the current period of deepened international integration. Vietnam has been giving and will continue to give foreign friends the impression of a peaceful, stable, cooperative and dynamic country of hospitable people.

With a new attitude and vibrancy in the country after 30 years of economic reform and with the valuable support of friends and partners, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week is bound to be a great success, promising to create a new dynamism for the forum, helping to shape the future of not only APEC but also the region's economic structure. The successful hosting of the APEC Year 2017 will also bring substantive benefits to Vietnam, while affirming the country’s new vision and position.