President helps put APEC spotlight on food security
VLADIVOSTOK (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang arrives in Kazakhstan today on a two-day State visit on the heels of his active weekend representing the nation at the 20th APEC Leaders Summit in Vladivostok, Russia.
|President Truong Tan Sang is greeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2012 APEC Leaders Summit in Valdivostok. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
The two-day event wrapped up yesterday with the adoption of a declaration entitled Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper and five documents on innovation and growth, energy security, trade liberalisation in environmental goods, educational co-operation, and fighting corruption and ensuring transparency.
The declaration and the documents affirmed APEC leaders' strong determination to promote regional economic integration and raise the forum's international prestige.
The leaders announced that they would convene next year on the Indonesian island of Bali.
During the APEC meeting, Sang participated in sessions on the issues food security, the global economic crisis, and regional economic integration. This year's APEC meeting marked the first in which food security has become the focus of a session at the APEC forum.
Sang emphasised that efforts to ensure food security needed to be combined with national development strategies and processes of economic restructuring, as well as efforts to cope with climate change.
Agricultural and rural development were a linchpin in Viet Nam's renewal process and remained a major part of its effort to stabilise the economy, maintain growth and ensure social welfare, said Sang.
He proposed that APEC member economies boost co-operation among themselves, with ASEAN+3, and with South Asia so as to practically assist other developing nations in ensuring food security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also told the session that food security had become a global challenge and that APEC, as the region's leading economic co-operation forum, needed to take strong actions.
At sessions on the global and regional economic situations, leaders shared their assessments of challenges to economic recovery, the risk of growth degradation and the impacts of unstable financial markets and high public debt in Europe.
Sang suggested APEC pay greater attention to assisting member states in economic restructuring and renewing growth models and make further contributions to the reform of global financial systems in an effective, democratic and equitable manner that brings into play the role of emerging economies.
At another session on regional integration, Sang stressed the urgent need for regional co-operation, calling it key to maintaining each member economy's growth rate and the dynamic of the regional economy.
He suggested APEC prioritise the establishment of reliable supply chains to ensure sustainable sources of both energy and food. APEC should attach importance to sharing experiences in policymaking, facilitating efforts by developing economies to participate in global supply chains and form links with regional and sub-regional connectivity programmes and projects, he said.
After the session, Sang joined APEC leaders in a dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), a body that meets annually after APEC meetings.
During the council meeting, business leaders proposed hastened integration of regional financial markets and expanded co-operation in services and called for greater investment in infrastructure and energy security, as well as more sustainable urban development.
APEC leaders welcomed the business community's proposals, affirmed prospects for regional economic connectivity and emphasised the essential role of partnerships between governments and the business community.
President Sang also met with a number of APEC member leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
During his meeting on Saturday with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, both leaders praised the signing of a document on impact research to kickstart negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and Customs Alliance members including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in the first quarter of next year.
Sang and Putin agreed to strengthen multifaceted co-operation between Viet Nam and the Far East in areas such as mining, wood processing, garments and textiles, seafood production, education and training.
President Sang said Viet Nam was keen to invest in the Far East, adding that with its experience and advantages, the country could help Russia fully tap into the region's potential.
On the same day, President Sang met with the prime ministers of Japan, Singapore, Australia and the head of the US Delegation.
The leaders agreed that it was necessary to maintain peace, stability and security in the region and promote co-operation and economic integration as well as strengthen solidarity and uphold the central role played by ASEAN in the regional structures, towards the aim of building an ASEAN community by 2015.
Sang also held bilateral meetings yesterday with the presidents of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Philippines.
RoK President Lee Myung-bak expressed his delight at the strategic partnership between the two nations and spoke highly of diverse activities launched in the Viet Nam-RoK Friendship Year 2012. He added that both sides would need to further step up economic and trade co-operation, to lift two-way trade to US$20 billion before 2015.
Sang and his Filipino counterpart Benigno S. Aquino agreed that ASEAN needed to reinforce solidarity and bring into play its central role in resolving important issues for the sake of peace, security and prosperity in the region.
Today, Sang arrives in Kazakhstan at the invitation of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The visit aims to affirm Viet Nam's commitment to strengthening the tradition of friendship and multifaceted co-operation between the two countries.
Trade between the two countries have seen positive developments, with Viet Nam exporting telephones, computers, electronic components, seafood, fruit and vegetables, cashew nuts, pepper and garments to Kazakhstan while importing steel, metal and cotton.
About a year ago, Viet Nam-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic-Trade and Scientific-Technological Co-operation signed the Viet Nam-Kazakhstan Joint Action Plan for 2011-13. Under the plan, the two countries will continue to exchange visits by high-ranking officials, hold bilateral meetings, and offer mutual support at UN and international forum, creating momentum for comprehensive bilateral co-operation in all respects, including politics, trade, agriculture, industry, science and technology, and education. — VNS