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The President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the chairman of the 25th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Prof. Dr. Tran Dai Quang said since the formation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) twenty eight years ago it has been growing vigorously, living up to the role as the region’s premier economic forum.
“In a globalized and changing world and a dynamically growing Asia-Pacific, APEC is facing both new opportunities and challenges. As the host of APEC 2017, it is Vietnam’s mandate to work with other member economies to transform the APEC Leaders’ commitments into tangible results,” said Tran.
He said this collaboration would bring APEC closer to the people and the business community, thereby realizing the strategic vision for an Asia-Pacifĩc of sustainable and inclusive development in the 21st century.
The course of economic growth and integration in the Asia Pacific region is being presented with opportunities thanks to a deepened globalization process, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, particularly digital technology, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, said the President.
He the increasing interdependence and connectivity in the region, as well as the need to address global challenges also open up new opportunities for member economies to foster cooperation and integration.
“While global and regional economic recovery is firming, given the intemational economic integration slowdown, mid-term and long-term risks, rising protectionism, the increasing rich-poor gap and traditional and non-traditional security challenges, the environment for regional security and development has become ever more uncertain and unpredictable.
“Against that backdrop and on the basis of cooperation characterized by consensus, voluntarism, mutual benefit and mutual respect, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, a beautiful, modem, dynamic and hospitable Coastal city, has an important mission in creating a new dynamism for APEC cooperation, integration and growth.
“This is also an opportunity for APEC member economies to further deepen and elevate their cooperation towards building an Asia Pacific Partnership of sustainable and inclusive development in the 21st century,” he said.
He told the forum participants that in the spirit of constructive cooperation for mutual beneíìt and under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”, APEC economic leaders will discuss directions for the forum on the following issues:-
First, create new dynamism for sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth of APEC member economies. This drive should be linked with Industry 4.0, efforts to equip employees with new skills to work in a digital environment, acceleration of structural reform; promoting the innovation, start-up spirit and competitiveness of businesses, particularly among MSMEs.
Member economies should also work hard to build a resilient and inclusive APEC community; promoting sustainable urban-rural development, guaranteeing food, water and energy security, reducing disaster risks, increasing women’s economic empowerment and creating a better environment for vulnerable groups. These efforts would help increase APEC’s growth quality.
Second, promote trade and investment liberalization and strengthen regional connectivity; accelerate the achievement of the Bogor Goals in 2020, deepen regional integration and connectivity, and work towards the establishment of FTAAP to enhance trade and investment flows in the Asia-Pacific and foster linkages among APEC member economies.
It is also necessary for APEC to promote an open, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system. Existing global trade practices require members to enhance cooperation on issues relating to supply chain, value Chain, e-commerce, and continue with capacity building and policy harmonization.
This is the pre-requisite for the forum to continue its role as the driver of economic integration in the multi-layered global landscape.
Third, exert efforts in consolidating the leading role of APEC in global economic govemance and response to common challenges; raise adaptability to the changing environment, take the lead in advancing reform, innovation, and increase efficiency of cooperation to generate more tangible benefits for the people and businesses in the region.
APEC members also need to actively implement global commitments, particularly the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
Fourth, in preparing for APEC’s 4th decade of development, we need to discuss the steps taken to develop the Post-2020 Strategic Vision for the forum.
This Vision needs to further uphold APEC’s leading role in promoting integration, connectivity, sustainable and inclusive quality growth, restructuring, digital economy, internet economy, education, training of quality human resources, reduced development gap. This is also the development needs of member economies and the common trend of international cooperation in the 21st century.
“Fully aware of the importance of the close relations between Vietnam and APEC, Viet Nam has always made active and responsible contributions to the work of the forum over the past 20 years.
“Entering the phase of comprehensive reforms, Vietnam wishes, through the hosting of the APEC Year 2017, to reaffirm its foreign policy of diversiíĩcation, multi-lateralization of International relations and intensive international integration; being a reliable ữiend and partner of the international community.
“We will continue to work with other APEC member economies in building a peaceful, stable, dynamic, interconnected and prosperous Asia-Pacific community,” said Tran.