APEC cooperation will not be diminished by distance

Update: 09:17 | 11/11/2017
This is a statement of President Trai Dai Quang at the gala dinner in celebration of the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang city on November 10. The World & Vietnam Report presents to you the full speech of the President in the following text. 
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Your Majesty,


Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the State and people of Viet Nam, I have the honour  to extend my warmest welcome to you all to the 25thAPEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the beautiful and hospitable coastal city of Da Nang.

We have just got a glimpse of the fascinating history of Viet Nam, her marvelous land and charming people. I believe this brief performance has also illustrated to you the aspiration for peace, the drive for success and, particularly, the optimism and conviction in a better future of each and every Vietnamese.

In Viet Nam we have a saying “four oceans may we live, one family do we share”. And sharing the Pacific Rim, for decades now, we have enjoyed the sweet fruits of peace, cooperation and development. Once a battlefield, the Asia-Pacific is now the cradle of economic miracles.

apec cooperation will not be diminished by distance
President Tran Dai Quang and his wife took picture with APEC Economic Leaders and spouses.

These successes have been founded on our strong belief in the power of cooperation and dialogue. Your presence here is a vivid example of such confidence. The Pacific Ocean may be vast, but such distance does not diminish our will or commitment to cooperation for a better future of the whole region. Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, APEC has become the premier regional economic forum, an incubator for ideas and initiatives on growth and integration as well as trade and investment liberalization. It has also become the coordinating mechanism for regional economic cooperation. By working together to strengthen APEC’s leadership in regional and global economic governance, we can turn the forecast of the 21st Century as the “Century of the Asia-Pacific” into reality.

We gather here today as the regional and global economic outlook is seeing better prospects. Exactly a decade after the 2008-2009 global economic crisis, we are seeing a firmer global recovery. Growth in the Asia-Pacific has been nearly twice as fast as the global average. Particularly encouraging is the increasingly solid recovery and growth of APEC members, especially the major economies. The vitality and resilience of the regional economy bring to mind the Vietnamese bamboo trees, supple yet firm and strong even in face of the most violent storms. This compels us to take bolder actions to realize the Bogor Goals and define APEC’s strategic direction for the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Geographically, Viet Nam is at the front of continental Southeast Asia looking out to the Pacific Ocean. For Viet Nam, the Asia-Pacific region is always at the top of our foreign policy priority and development strategy. Since the launch of Doi moi, Viet Nam has twice had the honour to host APEC. This alone is an indication of the reality that Viet Nam’s future is inseparable from that of the region, exactly as reflected in the chosen theme for APEC 2017 – “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”.

When Viet Nam first hosted APEC 11 years ago, we were in the early days of our journey of regional and international economic integration. Viet Nam has since joined the group of middle-income economies, with per capita income tripling from 730 USD to nearly 2,400 USD. Viet Nam today is an active and responsible member of regional and global cooperation mechanisms and an important link in key regional economic integration networks.

The achievements recorded during 20 years of APEC membership underline Viet Nam’s determination to engage in a process of comprehensive renovation and extensive integration. They also highlight our commitment to play a more active role in shaping regional and global cooperation mechanisms. What we have achieved thus far is, moreover, the fruits of an ever more deepened cooperation between Viet Nam and APEC member economies. For Viet Nam to become a strong economy and a favourite destination for international friends, we have made great strides in strengthening our cooperation.  Many APEC members have become Viet Nam’s top trade and investment partners. APEC members makeup 85% of our international tourists and are home to 80% of Vietnamese students abroad. This has helped bring Viet Nam closer to the world and the world closer to Viet Nam. From the bottom of our heart, we hope you will continue to work together with us for the success of APEC and Viet Nam.

While your time here may be short, but I do hope you will have fond memories of the hospitality and friendship of the Vietnamese people, especially the people of Da Nang. In this joyful ambiance, may I invite you all to join me in a toast:

  • To the friendship between and among the people of the great APEC family!
  • To the success of the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting!
  • To the good health and success of you all!

Thank you.

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