16:35 | 17/01/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang described the resounding success of the country’s yearlong hosting of APEC events and activities, especially the 25th APEC Summit Week in November, as an outstanding external relations achievement of the Communist Party, People’s Army and Vietnamese people. It marked a new milestone in the process of international integration and bilateral relation development, contributing to strengthening and improving Vietnam’s position in the international arena, he said.
History in the making
In 2017, Vietnam for the second time successfully hosted the annual events and activities of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
For three years, thousands of officials from ministries, sectors and localities carefully prepared for APEC 2017, and their efforts bore fruit. Leaders of APEC member economies highly appreciated Vietnam’s leading role in proposing discussion topics towards the goal of creating new dynamism to foster a shared future for peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, and affirming APEC’s role in the global economy.
APEC Vietnam 2017 consisted of 243 meetings and activities at different levels and was wrapped up with the Summit Week in the city of Da Nang that gathered the leaders of all APEC member states, including the world’s largest economies - the US, China, Russia and Japan, and more than 11,000 Vietnamese and foreign officials, businesspeople and reporters.
During the summit week, nearly 100 bilateral meetings between APEC leaders took place; 121 cooperation agreements and contracts valued at nearly US$20 billion were signed. This was approximately 10 times higher than the total value of deals signed in 2006, the first time Vietnam hosted the Pacific Rim events.
Historical visits also took place on this occasion. The President of China and leader of the ruling Communist Party, Xi Jinping, paid the first state-level visit to Vietnam following the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Donald Trump was the first US President to visit Vietnam in the first year of the presidential tenure. The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also paid official visits to Vietnam during the APEC Summit Week. Nearly 50 bilateral meetings between Vietnamese leaders and partners took place on this occasion.
Participants praised Vietnam for choosing 10 cities and provinces as venues for APEC 2017’s major events. This not only helped Vietnam bring into play the advantages of these localities but also offered them a good chance to showcase their cultures and specific products. The choice of the fast-developing coastal city of Da Nang for the Summit Week helped portray Vietnam as a dynamic and integral part of the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC 2017 Summit Week activities attracted the participation of more than 4,000 businesses, including world-leading firms, offering them a chance to seek new partners and cooperation opportunities.
APEC members currently account for 75 percent of Vietnam’s trade with the rest of the world, 78 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam, and 79 percent of the total number of foreign tourists to Vietnam. About 80 percent of overseas Vietnamese students currently study in APEC member countries. Thirteen APEC members have become Vietnam’s strategic and comprehensive partners. These figures reflect the important role of the forum in Vietnam’s socioeconomic development.
Under the guidance of the Party and the State, the entire political system, ministries, sectors and localities contributed significantly to the success of APEC 2017. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) was one of these contributors.
Following the guidance of Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, the MoIT prepared documents and proposals that were presented at APEC events. The MoIT coordinated with the APEC 2017 National Secretariat, other ministries, sectors and APEC member economies to improve and protect Vietnam’s proposals at senior officials meetings (SOMs) and the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).
As head of Vietnam-APEC SOM and co-chair of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM 29), the MoIT organized consultation meetings to appeal to APEC senior officials and the CTI to support Vietnam’s initiatives. The MoIT also coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize negotiating sessions on important documents, such as joint statements of AMM 29 and the 25th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, and Vietnam’s major initiatives and proposals.
Many meetings and negotiating sessions took place all night to finalize documents before submission to APEC ministers and leaders for approval.
The MoIT contributed significantly to promoting the realization of the 1994 Bogor goals on trade and investment liberalization. The MoIT also contributed to building a consensus on maintaining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States as a high-standard and comprehensive trade deal under a new name, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), that ensures the interests of all member states in trade and other fields.
In the framework of the summit week, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh had bilateral meetings with key Asia-Pacific economic ministers and accompanied the Vietnamese Prime Minister and President to their meetings with the heads of APEC member states, aiming to further boost bilateral ties and identify priority areas of cooperation in APEC.
The adoption of eight documents at the APEC 2017 Summit Week, with the most important one being the Da Nang Statement titled “Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future”, strengthened Vietnam’s role in APEC.