14:07 | 25/11/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - Leaders of the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries attended the APEC Summit in the Philippines. They discussed issues related to sustainable development, economic connectivity, and multilateral trade to seek solutions to maintain and promote APEC’s dynamic role as a driving force of global economic growth.
Leaders of APEC member countries at the opening ceremony of the 23rd APEC Summit
As part of the event, an APEC CEO Summit, and the 27th APEC Ministerial Meeting took place from November 16-17, a dialogue between APEC leaders and the APEC Business Advisory Council took place on November 18, and the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders Meeting took place from November 18-19.
According to Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, APEC 2015 took place in the context of rapid and complicated changes in the regional and global situation. The global economy continues to grow slowly, but economic cooperation between APEC member countries continues to develop. The Philippines has identified four priorities of APEC 2015, including enhancing regional economic connectivity, increasing the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global value chains, investing in human resources development, and building sustainable and resilient communities.
“The Philippines attached special importance to boosting APEC cooperation in developing MSMEs, ensuring food security, coping with climate change, developing human resources, and ensuring gender equality. Cooperation in these areas will create a new impulse for regional growth and contribute to building sustainable and resilient communities,” Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son said.
At the 27th APEC Ministerial Meeting, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory L. Domingo said APEC member economies should take an overall, strategic and comprehensive approach to maintaining APEC’s dynamic role as a driving force of global economic growth. In the first plenary session focusing on inclusive growth through enhancing economic linkages, the ministers highlighted the necessity of boosting cooperation to promote economic growth for the interests of people, especially for future generations. They emphasized that APEC needed to enhance regional economic connectivity towards the Bogor goals for trade and investment liberalization by 2020, and promote the multilateral trade system.
APEC member countries are looking towards the establishment of an Asia-Pacific free trade area (FTAAP) based on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). APEC ministers will join this project and expect it will be completed next year. They also discussed measures to help SMEs expand their operations overseas, and establish supply networks in cases when natural calamities happen.
APEC gathers most of Vietnam’s strategic partners and leading trading partners. About 78 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, 79 percent of total foreign trade, and 70 percent of tourists to Vietnam come from APEC. Notably, all 12 TPP negotiating countries are APEC members, so active participation in APEC activities will help Vietnam integrate more deeply into the global economy and boost multilateral cooperation.