New vision and dynamism for APEC
Sunday, 2017-11-12 07:18:04
NDO – The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM-25) has concluded successfully, wrapping up the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017 held between November 6 and 11 in the coastal city of Da Nang, and marking Vietnam’s completion of its role as the hosting economy of the APEC Year 2017.
Since its inception in November 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has become a leading economic cooperation forum in the region and the world, offering a market of around 2.8 billion people and contributing nearly 60% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 49% of global trade. The forum has become a convergence of the world’s major economic, trade and technology centres, together with the innovation and creativity capabilities of its members, operating under the principle of consensus cooperation, nonbindingness and voluntariness. The resilient vitality of APEC has assisted the forum to overcome turbulences and crises on a regional and global scale. Yet, APEC is currently in a critical transitional phase, as the forum is making last-ditch efforts to finalise the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalisation by 2020 for all members. In addition to positive trends and emerging opportunities, the region is also facing a lot of challenges, especially the slowing connectivity and the growth risks in the medium and long term, which hinder the process of globalisation and regional economic integration.
In that context, the Vietnam APEC Year 2017 is of great significance, and is the time for APEC member countries to work out new directions to maintain APEC’s role as a driver of global and Asia-Pacific economic growth and integration. This is also the moment when APEC needs to develop a new vision in preparation for the post-2020 development period and the future, aiming to ensure the forum responds positively to the common challenges posed, and build the region into a community which is economically dynamic, socially inclusive, and stable in terms of security, whilst truly working for the people and businesses.
From Vietnam’s Da Nang city, APEC economic leaders discussed the theme of “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” of the Vietnam APEC Year 2017, and agreed on major orientations aiming to further accelerate the efforts to finalise the Bogor Goals, connecting the supply chains, strengthen the multilateral trade system, promote regional trade agreements, and move towards the building of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The leaders also affirmed their strong determination to promote the initiatives proposed by the host Vietnam on promoting sustainable, creative and inclusive growth; accelerate extensive regional economic integration; enhancing the competitiveness and creativity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the digital era; and strengthen food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptations. These are the important factors that help APEC to overcome challenges, make the best use of opportunities in new situations, and make important preparations for the forum to enter a new stage of development after 2020.
The AELM-25 adopted the Da Nang Declaration “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”. This is the most important result of the APEC Year 2017. The joint declaration continues to affirm the commitments to strengthening cooperation and joint action to promote regional economic integration and growth for a vibrant and prosperous APEC Community, and strengthening the Asia-Pacific partnership for sustainable and inclusive development. In addition, it also helps to ensure the maintenance of APEC’s role as a leading regional economic cooperation mechanism, with high flexibility and adaptability in a world full of changes.
Vietnam is honoured and proud to have been the host economy of the APEC forum for the second time (after 2006), with its new position and power after over 30 years of Doi Moi (Renewal) and nearly 20 years of APEC membership. Vietnam has obtained significant achievements, rising from an under-developed country to a middle-income developing economy and an important joint in the network of 16 free trade agreements (FTAs). As one of the highly open economies, the future of more than 90 million people in Vietnam is increasingly linked to the Asia-Pacific region. Many of the APEC member economies are and will continue to be the largest investors and leading trade partners of Vietnam. In the last year, Vietnam has worked closely with APEC member economies and partners, whilst promoting the leading role of the host country, in order to build solid results that ensure the success of the Vietnam APEC Year 2017. The themes and initiatives proposed by Vietnam have been highly appreciated and actively supported by APEC member economies, partners and international friends, working not only to promote the common concerns of the forum, but also practically meet with Vietnam’s socio-economic development goals in the period from now onto 2020.
The APEC Year 2017 is a focus in Vietnam’s foreign policy and also the country’s most significant contribution to APEC cooperation in the period of extensive international integration. By efficiently organising the activities of the Vietnam APEC Year 2017, Vietnam has reaffirmed its determination for comprehensive and synchronous reforms, proactive and active international integration, and for being a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community. In addition to advertising a peaceful, vibrant and hospitable Vietnam, the activities of the APEC Year 2017 have also brought about numerous opportunities for business, investment and tourism cooperation, for both localities and businesses.