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VN praised for SOM 3 organisation by delegates

Update: August, 29/2017 - 10:36
Viet Nam News

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) third Senior Officials’ Meeting and related meetings are set to wrap up after more 10 days of meetings. Việt Nam News asks visiting delegates about the organisation of the events and initiatives.

Alan Bollard, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat

Alan Bollard, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat

[Regarding initiatives] Việt Nam has four important priorities through the year. We have been going through a lot of meetings to help develop all of those. We are getting to a stage now where we have to be very specific about what APEC can deliver. It is very important stuff in a quite complicated year, and so far it has been going very well.

Việt Nam’s priorities are generally about how it can continue this big story about regional economic integration and getting the benefits from trade, but also now making sure that it happens all around the region and not just to some economies. So some of that is quite new for us and it’s a big challenge, but Việt Nam has really focused us all on that.

APEC is a long game, a long story because things just don’t happen all at once. Việt Nam’s initiatives are for this year but they will continue in the future as well. So we’ve all got big challenges. I think we have done very well in the past on economic growth, but the discussion today is about how we make sure that people and society are actually getting more inclusive benefits.           

Rory McLeod, Chair of APEC Economic Committee

Rory McLeod, Chair of APEC’s Economic Committee

The organisation by Viêt Nam in 2017 has been super. We have had very organised meetings and really good venues, but best of all I think the organisation by Việt Nam of its themes and priorities for APEC 2017 has been very clear and very ambitious. So that has been very useful for APEC.

The key initiatives from Việt Nam from my committee is the initiative on economic, financial and social inclusion, and this is very important because my committee works on economic reform, and if economic reform is going to succeed it has to create new opportunities for the poor and small businesses and women and people.

At SOM 3, we worked on a major study on human capital development in APEC. We are in a situation where skills are becoming very important, but the type of skills we need is changing very rapidly, so we prepared a major study for APEC on this topic, and on how we can have more skilled workers in the future.

I think the co-operation between APEC economies has been very good already and it has led to much freer trade and investment in the region, and it helps us help each other in economic reform. The latest stats we have show that both trade and growth are picking up again and that APEC is growing faster than the rest of the world.         

Peter MacArthur, Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia

Peter MacArthur, Canadian Ambassador to Timor-Leste and Indonesia

We are very impressed with Việt Nam’s ability, for the second time, to host APEC very professionally, very focused and extremely good logistical and organisational relationships. So strong chairmanship, very good logistical support, and a clear agenda to help move APEC economies forward in preparation  for the leaders’ meetings in Đà Nẵng in November.

Việt Nam’s four priorities for this year when they host are very much aligned with the Canadian Government’s priorities. Việt Nam is contributing good ideas for us to move forward in terms of economic improvement, for member economies, through more open trade and investment. And that includes education, which is an important part of human capital development, especially for young people.

We have the ASEAN Economic Community. ASEAN is celebrating 50 years of success this year. Canada, happily, has had a dialogue relationship with ASEAN for 40 years. We have the Pacific Alliance across the pacific … four countries. Canada is becoming an associate member of the Pacific Alliance that is in the developing stages. There are various pathways to freer, more open trade. In Canada’s case, for example,  we are renegotiating NAFTA, and we have just agreed and we are gratifying our European Union-Canada Free Trade Agreement. So there is a lot of progress because we know that more open trade and investment is good for people, and at the same time we have a progressive trade policy designed to ensure that it is a more open, transparent regime where those who are affected by free trade and investment are retrained and there are adjustment measures taken into account to ensure everybody gains from more moderate trade and investment rules.

Tsutomu Koizumi, APEC Senior Official of Japan

Tsutomu Koizumi, APEC Senior Official, Japan

At APEC 2017 the Vietnamese Government has been providing us with excellent agendas and priorities, not only from Việt Nam but also from other APEC economies. This is my third APEC meeting this year. I appreciate very much that the Vietnamese Government enabled us to do a good job. 

We started to think about the so-called "possible goals of 2020". What APEC needs in future is to promote economic and investment co-operation within our region in order to inspire the rest of the world about what could be possible in terms of global prosperity. I think Việt Nam had the excellent idea of establishing a so-called AVG (APEC vision group) gathering persons from APEC economies to think about, promote and ask senior officials to establish possible goals. 

APEC has just started really thinking about future growth and inclusive societies. If you ask me what are APEC’s achievements so far in terms of inclusion, nothing has been achieved just yet. We’ll have to wait and see.

Valery Sorokin, APEC Senior Official of Russia

Valery E Sorokin, Senior Official of Russia for APEC

As a general observation about Việt Nam’s hosting of APEC, I think everything is going very well.

The intrinsic nature of APEC, which is a spirit of collaboration, a search for collective action, a search for consensus, is there.

The Vietnamese hosts have done a good job. The dialogue is quite productive. 

One of the major issues is the strategy for promoting economic and finance. This is a major initiative for Russia and Việt Nam. We support this very strongly because we also have some projects and initiatives on the same topic.

One of the initiatives of Russia is about how to develop economic growth in APEC economies. You know Russia is very big, we have a lot of regions, we have many remote areas which need development and we think that many other APEC economies have a similar problem. That is why our initiative received unanimous support. —VNS


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