|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered opening remarks at MRT 23
In a press conference on the results of the MRT 23 held on May 21, Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Tuan Anh said that APEC has been considered an incubator of new initiatives in economics, trade, investment, growth and innovation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Minister Tran Tuan Anh stressed that the MRT 23 took place when the regional and global economy saw signs of recovery. The APEC Secretariat's Policy Support Unit (PSU) forecasts that regional economic growth in 2017 may be higher than the world average (3.8% vs. 3.5%) and APEC continues to maintain its leading role in the Asia-Pacific region.
The MRT 23 was the first APEC Ministerial Meeting in 2017 and the only ministerial meeting held in Hanoi. The MRT 23 played a particularly important role in reviewing the implementation of the theme and the APEC 2017 priorities and defining the next steps for APEC cooperation in the coming time towards the APEC 2017 Summit, to be held in Da Nang in November 2017.
The fine outcomes of the MRT 23 were highlighted by Minister Tran Tuan Anh as follows:
First, the MRT 23 fulfilled its role as a good buffer in reviewing the implementation of the theme and priorities of the APEC 2017 Year, in preparation for the APEC 2017 Summit in Da Nang.
Second, at the MRT 23, participants strongly supported the need to maintain APEC's role as a driving force for regional economic growth and connectivity, an incubator of ideas on regional cooperation and linkage, for the common prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. The meeting also agreed to continue promoting the completion of the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalization by 2020.
|Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh in a press conference
Third, the MRT 23 demonstrated APEC's determination to continue building a sustainable, transparent, law-based multilateral trade system that would serve as a cornerstone for international trade. The MRT 23 also showed APEC's support for the 11th WTO Ministerial Meeting to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this December.
Fourth, the MRT 23 reviewed the development of a number of initiatives and priorities for the 2017 APEC:
(1) Continuation of the Lima Declaration on the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP);
(2) Building a Cross-Border Trade Facilitation Framework;
(3) Implementing Initiatives on Supporting Industries;
(4) Developing an Action Plan on economic, financial and social promotion in the APEC region;
(5) Building the APEC Framework for Human Resources Development in the digital age.
(6) Defining visions for APEC in the post-2020 phase.
These are positive and practical initiatives that will be submitted to the 29
th APEC Economic Ministers' Meeting and the 25th Summit for approval.
Fifth, on the sidelines of the meeting, various events were held, including:
(1) The APEC App Challenge to help SMEs participate more actively in regional and international markets;
(2) APEC Trade and Innovation Symposium with the participation of ministers and representatives of the business community in the region. This showed that APEC not only cooperates in terms of policy but also has many practical, useful and meaningful activities.
According to Minister Tran Tuan Anh, hosting various APEC activities, Vietnam continues to affirm its policy of deepening international integration, considering the Asia-Pacific region with regional mechanisms, particularly APEC, as one of the focuses in its foreign policy. The results of the MRT 23 have made an important contribution to promoting the APEC 2017 theme and priorities, and provided a foundation and momentum for next steps towards the 2017 APEC Summit.
Minister Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that the MRT 23 and related meetings marked the midpoint of the APEC Vietnam Year 2017, believing that the results achieved at the MRT 23 would be an important basis for APEC members to continue their discussions at all levels as well as at ministerial meetings to take place in the coming months, contributing to fostering the APEC cooperation process in 2017.
By Duy Tien