|President Trần Đại Quang. - VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
In an article written on the occasion of the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, State President Quang expressed his belief that kind of vitality originates not only from the region’s abundant young workforce and rich natural resources but also from the political determination and self-endeavors of each member economy in accelerating innovations and reforms.
APEC’s achievements and progresses in trade and investment facilitation, including the realization of Bogor’s goals, have contributed to affirming the role of the forum as the top economic cooperation mechanism in the region that accounts for nearly 60% of and 50% of the global GDP and trade volume, respectively.
APEC has also been a pioneer in initiating ideas, orienting and coordinating regional economic linkages. Many large-scaled linkages took its source from APEC and its member economies, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a vivid example.
APEC economies have deployed joint plans on connectivity, business travel facilitation, and infrastructure development among others. Thus APEC’s economic linkages have become increasingly extensive and intensive, making more practical contributions to the consolidation of the values and the role of the multilateral trading system.
Nearly three decades have gone by, APEC has gradually asserted its indispensible role in the global economic structure and contributed, along with other multilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the ASEAN Community, bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, connectivity initiatives, value and supply chains, to peace, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
The region is now facing great development and connectivity opportunities thanks to the increasingly deep and wide international integration process, the fourth industrial revolution, especially the digital technology and artificial intelligence.
The inter-dependence and intertwining, which are becoming increasingly close among stakeholders in the region, together with the need to collaborate in addressing global challenges, have opened up new opportunities for the member economies to enhance cooperation and connectivity.
However, the slowdown of the global economic connectivity process, medium and long term risks of the global economy combined with rising protectionism and rich-and-poor gap, and traditional and non-traditional challenges have made the region’s security environment undeterminable and unpredictable as never before.
That backdrop requires Viet Nam and other economies to stick to the goals, values and commitments that APEC has pursued, which include boosting trade and investment facilitation and supporting the values of the open multilateral trading system based on the principles of equality, mutual benefits and respect for each other.
It is also necessary to double efforts for the Asia- Pacific region of peace, stability and prosperity so that every people and every economic sector have fair chances to contribute to and enjoy the fruits of economic growth and linkages.
APEC is now in the best condition to make more positive contributions to sustain the Asia-Pacific region’s driving force of the global economic growth and linkages. Many of the APEC’s key economies will still be the top economic, trade and technological hubs of the world in the coming decades. More than 150 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements to which APEC member economies are signatories are under way and the efforts towards formulating a free trade area in Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) promise to open up great opportunities in terms of market access, technological and financial resources for the whole region.
APEC also has advantages to promote its role in the world’s multi-layered architecture thanks to its flexible and non-binding cooperation principles, making it easy for the member economies to reach common voices and consensus, even on issues of divergence.
State President Quang, however, writes that taking advantages of opportunities effectively depends on the determination and efforts of the APEC member economies.
Joining hands to build the future
The 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang has an important mission of creating new impetus for cooperation, connectivity and growth of APEC.
It is also a chance for the APEC member economies to deepen and heighten cooperation towards sustainable and inclusive development for Asia-Pacific in the 21st century.
State President Quang suggested the APEC economic leaders discuss on the following topics: Devising new impetus for sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; accelerating free trade and investment and enhancing regional economic connectivity; consolidating the leading role of APEC in global economic governance and common challenges response; and preparing for APEC to enter the fourth decade of development.
Deeply aware of the importance of the intertwinement between Viet Nam and APEC, over the past nearly 20 years, Viet Nam has always exerted efforts to make proactive and responsible contributions to the common interests of the forum.
Having entered a new stage of synchronous and comprehensive reforms and being the host of APEC 2017, Viet Nam wishes to continue reaffirming the policy of diversification, multi-lateralization, intensive and extensive international integration, striving together with other economies to build a peaceful, stable, dynamic, inter-connected, and prosperous community in Asia-Pacific.