|The APEC trade ministers' meeting is held in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong province, May 17, 2014. — XINHUA/VNA/VNS Photo
BEIJING (VNS) — Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang clarified Viet Nam's priorities in the APEC co-operation framework at the 20th Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT-20) that opened in Qingdao, China, on Saturday.
The priorities included supply chain connectivity, capital assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises and the increase of investment in infrastructure development, Hoang said.
During the two-day meeting, the ministers discussed preparations for the 22nd Summit to be held in Beijing in November.
They also tabled the implementation of the forum's priorities in 2014.
Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is an intergovernmental grouping that has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and dramatically increasing exports.
APEC's 21 member economies account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, about 55 per cent of its GDP and 44 per cent of its trade. Viet Nam joined the forum in 1998.
On the MRT-20 sidelines, Hoang had a meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng last Friday.
He declared that China's illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou-981rig in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf was a serious violation of Viet Nam's sovereignty and jurisdiction, infringing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed by ASEAN and China.
China's move also went against the common agreement reached by the two countries' leaders, he said.
Hoang stated that Viet Nam protested the act and demanded China immediately removed the oil rig out of Viet Nam's waters.
He spoke of recent activities displaying anger at China at some foreign-invested firms, saying these were motivated by China's infringement of Viet Nam's sovereignty.
Among the protestors, there were individuals who took advantage of the situation to cause social disorder and damage the assets of foreign enterprises. They would be severely punished, he said.
He told his Chinese counterpart that the Vietnamese Government and relevant ministries had taken measures to ensure the safety, property and operation of foreign businesses in Viet Nam, including those from China.
During the meeting, the two ministers also expressed their wish to enhance bilateral economic, trade and investment partnerships for the benefit of both peoples.
Hoang also held bilateral meetings with US Trade Representative Michael Froman, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea Yoon Sang-jick, and representatives of the American Business Coalition led by leaders of the US Chamber of Commerce. — VNS