|Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn speaks at the 32nd APEC Ministerial Meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) should carry forward its leading role in promoting free trade, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn at the 32nd APEC Ministerial Meeting held in the form of teleconference on November 8-9.
He suggested the APEC reduce measures that would hinder trade and cause discrimination, especially those on essential goods, expand the network of free trade agreement (FTAs), and boost an open, inclusive and multilateral trade system that is based on rules and WTO reform.
The minister said the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 demonstrates the resolve and commitments of APEC members to overcome difficulties and regain sustainable and strong economic growth, for prosperity of people and future generations.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên also joined Minister Sơn at the 32nd APEC Ministerial Meeting that saw the attendance of representatives from 21 member economies and guests from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the WTO.
The event was co-chaired by New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O'Connor.
The participants on Tuesday compared notes on measures to foster cooperation towards a self-resilient and prosperous Asia-Pacific region, and stressed the need to step up measures to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, thus ensuring equal access to vaccines and treatment.
They also discussed cooperation in vaccine research, production expansion and supply, as well as investment in health care.
The ministers said economic, trade and social policies should bring about equal opportunities and jobs for all people, promote potential of vulnerable groups, forge collaboration in climate change response and sustainable management of natural resources, and ensure food and water resources security.
At another working session on Monday, the ministers shared experience in economic recovery and exchanged views on cooperation efforts in trade and investment for regional recovery, and the APEC’s contributions to the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).
At the end of the event, the foreign and economic ministers adopted a joint statement and two appendices on mid-term assessment of the service competition roadmap in APEC and the APEC environmental services reference list. — VNS