APEC membership: Strategic decision and path ahead

Update: 14:09 | 01/12/2018
The decision to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 20 years ago is “strategic” and a major step taken by Viet Nam to implement its foreign policy of openness, multi-lateralization and diversification of international relations and economic integration.
tin nhap 20181201135524 Activities' PM at APEC Economic Leaders’ Week
tin nhap 20181201135524 APEC 2018: Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh meets with Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh made the remarks at the conference themed “Viet Nam and APEC: A journey of 20 years and the path ahead” that took place in Ha Noi on Friday morning.

The decision gave fresh impetus for Viet Nam to advance reform and international integration, said Deputy PM, FM Minh.

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Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh addresses the conference themed “Viet Nam and APEC: A journey of 20 years and the path ahead” in Ha Noi on November 30, 2018. (Photo: Tuan Anh)

During 20 years of APEC membership, Viet Nam has also made great strides on the path of development and integration.

Viet Nam has transformed itself from one of the poorest in the world to a lower middle-income country with per capita income increasing 7 times from US$ 350 to nearly US$ 2,400.

Many APEC members have become Viet Nam’s top trade and investment partners and 13 out of 16 free trade agreements signed or under negotiations by Viet Nam are with 17 APEC members.

APEC members make up 85% out of the country’s foreign arrivals and are home to 80% of Vietnamese students abroad. This has brought Viet Nam closer to the world and the world closer to Viet Nam.

APEC also provides a platform for Viet Nam to take part in bigger and high-level playgrounds such as the World Trade Organization and FTAs, including new-generation ones like the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

According to Deputy PM, FM Minh, looking back, Viet Nam is proud to have been side by side with other members in making active contribution to the APEC family and has left its marks on the development of the APEC, especially as the host of APEC 2006 and APEC 2017.

On the eve of the 3rd decade of the 21st century, the region and the world are in a period of transition with fundamental shifts that have given rise to new issues and challenges to APEC and Viet Nam, said Deputy PM, FM Minh.

He urged APEC to rise to the challenge to reassert its indispensible role in the evolving multi-polar world.

APEC needs to define priorities and new elements for cooperation to maintain its core values. While undertaking the three pillars of cooperation, APEC should give special attention to promoting sustainability, inclusion and innovation to give fresh impetus to growth.

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Delegates to the conference. (Photo: Tuan Anh)

Last but not least, APEC should also put in place recommendations on how best ASEAN and Viet Nam can make robust and meaningful contributions to the forum.

Deputy PM, FM Minh also said Viet Nam needs to continue to be proactive in building and realizing the new APEC vision beyond 2020, thus contributing to shaping a new regional architecture.

Digital economy should be put high on the agenda, with a focus on digital connectivity, digital trade, financial technology, and connecting centers of innovation and start-ups.

All cooperation initiatives, projects and mechanisms should be people-centered so as to bring tangible benefits to APEC people and businesses.

Deputy PM, FM Minh went on to say that it is imperative for APEC to enhance its adaptability and leadership role in the global economic governance. APEC has full ability and responsibility to champion in efforts to build an inclusive, equitable, transparent, and rules-based regional architecture, which is harmonious with the interests of all stakeholders in the region and beyond.

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(Source: VGP))