Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — APEC continues to prove its ability to adapt, to transform and to lead, said Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of 2017 APEC National Committee, Phạm Bình Minh.
The bloc continues to help ensure our Asia-Pacific as an engine of global economic growth and integration for the benefit of our people and businesses, he told high-ranking officials from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) member economies at the opening ceremony of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in the central city of Đà Nẵng on Wednesday morning.
In the opening remark, Minh stressed that the journey APEC member economies have made over the past year since the last 28th AMM in Peru has been filled with rapid and complex developments.
“The global and regional landscapes are experiencing a continued shift, with intertwining opportunities and challenges. Economic recovery is firming but projected growth rates are still below pre-crisis averages,” Minh said.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created hopes for higher productivity, but also anxiety about its transformative implications. International co-operation and integration endeavors continue to be reinforced. But threats posed by regional tensions, terrorism, inequality, natural disasters and cyber security are becoming more acute.”
Minh reiterated that Việt Nam’s efforts to consolidate the momentum of APEC co-operation, was the reason the host set the APEC Year’s theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” and the four priorities to accelerate regional economic integration and inclusive growth.
Since early this year, nine ministerial-level meetings and dialogues and over 200 committee meetings have been organised in various big cities across Việt Nam, discussing issues around the theme and four priorities proposed by the host economy.
The 29th AMM precedes and finalises preparations for the most important activity of the APEC Year 2017 – the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday.
The one-day meeting also aims to review the work of APEC processes this year, and decide on ways to push forward co-operation in some major areas.
During the two sessions in the morning, delegates focused on the topics of “International and regional contexts and the leadership role of APEC” and “Creating new dynamism for growth”. The afternoon session will concentrate on “Creating new dynamism for regional economic integration.”
The WTO General Director is expected to deliver a speech on world trade and preparations for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference from December 10 to 13. APEC observatory organisations, including ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), PECC (the Pacific Economic Co-operation Council) and PIF (the Pacific Islands Forum) will also be present at the meeting.
“We will seize this last opportunity before our leaders’ meeting to show the flexibility and willingness needed to break the remaining gap so that we can come out with a meaningful package for REI (Regional Economic Integration),” said the 29th AMM co-chair, Minister of Industry and Trade, Trần Tuấn Anh.
“Given the rapid changes and uncertainty that the global economy is now facing, this will convey a strong message that reflects the stated fastness and determination of APEC in pursuing a free and open region for trade and investment,” he said.
With a Joint Statement issued at the 28th AMM in Peru last year, APEC ministers passed a Joint Statement outlining the meeting’s outcomes to strengthen regional economic integration and quality growth.
Also, they reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the multilateral trading system and achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment. — VNS