Vietnam hopeful about APEC despite summit disappointment

08:23 | 31/12/2018 Cooperation

(VEN) - The 26th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit took place last month in Papua New Guinea against a backdrop of uncertainty in the regional and member economies, especially the trade competition among major economies and numerous challenges facing the multilateral trade system.

Photo: VNA

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a delegation of high-ranking Vietnamese officials to the weeklong event with the goals of supporting trade and investment liberalization, as well as the promotion of e-commerce and the digital economy, to ensure inclusive growth and implement millennium development goals. 

No joint statement 

APEC 2018 was the first summit of its kind that did not issue a joint statement at its end due to deep divisions among some members, especially the US and China, over trade protectionism and the multilateral trade system. 

Despite this disappointing conclusion, all members expressed their belief in the important role of APEC - the largest economic linkage mechanism in the Asia-Pacific, which has withstood many difficulties over the past three decades and contributed significantly to turning this region into a driving force of global economic growth and cooperation.

APEC leaders will gather at the 27th APEC Summit scheduled to take place next November in Santiago, the capital of Chile, to further their efforts to promote economic linkages in APEC and the entire Asia-Pacific region. 

Vietnam’s proposals

Bringing into play the role of the host of APEC 2017, the Vietnamese delegation actively contributed to APEC 2018. 
PM Phuc proposed ways to boost free trade and investment and regional economic linkages to bring into play APEC’s leading role in promoting the rules-based international order, while at the same time supporting the role of global institutions, an open, transparent and fair multilateral trade system, and the central role of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

PM Phuc asked APEC to play the role of an initiator and incubator of creative innovation ideas that can help turn the Asia-Pacific into a global technology hub. He also presented proposals to develop the region’s digital economy, focusing on digital connections, commerce, financial technologies, the connection of innovation centers, investment in digital infrastructure, the acceleration of digitalization, and building a creative innovation ecosystem in the Asia-Pacific. 

Vietnam has coordinated with other APEC members to bring into play the important results of APEC 2017. PM Phuc asked APEC to promote inclusive and creative growth, implement sustainable development goals, put people at the core of development, ensure the security of food and water resources and cope with climate change.

As the initiator of APEC’s Post-2020 Vision, PM Phuc presented various proposals to build a peaceful, stable, dynamic, united and prosperous Asia-Pacific community. 

Ratification document

During the weeklong event, PM Phuc met with the leaders of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Pacific Island countries, and many other APEC members. He also talked with the representatives of major companies from the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the US APEC Business Coalition. 

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh presented a document on Vietnam’s ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to the Minister for Trade and Export Growth of New Zealand - the country responsible for legal copyrighting of the CPTPP. 

Other APEC members praised Vietnam’s ratification of the CPTPP, as well as its economic development and international integration achievements.

PM Phuc said the unanimous ratification of the CPTPP by the Vietnamese National Assembly reflected Vietnam’s commitment to further renovation and international integration efforts, as well as its support for free trade and high-standard investment.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said the ratification of the CPTPP, paving the way for the agreement to take effect early next year, would contribute significantly to promoting trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Business leaders hailed Vietnam’s growing role in regional and global production chains, as well as the Vietnamese government’s determination to accelerate international integration. They affirmed their willingness to expand operations and increase investment in Vietnam.

Thu Hang