APEC meeting highlights effective ties

November 23, 2022 | 11:07
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With the coronavirus pandemic abating worldwide, Vietnam has boosted cooperation with multilateral mechanisms, with a key focus on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc as an effective solution to expand trade and attract investment.

At last week’s 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Thailand, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Vietnam would continue working with the economies of APEC to find effective measures to weather challenges to build a strong, dynamic, and peaceful bloc.

“We hope that the APEC Business Community will uphold the spirit of cooperation, overcome difficulties, and continue to promote investment and business activities in the region,” President Phuc told the APEC CEO Summit. “We welcome you to expand cooperation and develop with Vietnam. Vietnam creates all favourable conditions, a stable social environment, an open mechanism, and succeeds with you.”

APEC meeting highlights effective ties
APEC meeting highlights effective ties, photo Le Toan

The Vietnamese leader also stressed Vietnam as a highlight of economic recovery and in attracting foreign direct investment.

“Amid many difficulties, Vietnam has maintained macroeconomic stability, while keeping inflation under good control and ensuring major balances in energy and food,” he said.

According to forecasts of many international organisations, Vietnam will be among the economies with high GDP growth in the Asia-Pacific region, with the World Bank predicting the country’s expansion of 7.2 per cent for 2022 and 6.7 per cent in 2023.

According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment, registered capital from APEC economies in Vietnam has expanded remarkably. As of October, it accounted for nearly 85 per cent of the total 35,900 foreign-invested projects in the country and over 65 per cent of the total registered capital of $435.2 billion. The biggest investors included South Korea ($80.61 billion), Singapore ($70.39 billion), Japan ($68.34 billion), Taiwan ($36 billion), and Hong Kong ($28.93 billion).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that Vietnam’s participation in the bloc is in line with its concerns, as the economy is seeking to deepen its international integration, with a boost in multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as APEC considered a pivot in its foreign policy.

The Vietnamese government in January released a resolution on key tasks for the country’s Socioeconomic Development Plan and budget estimates for 2022. Under this resolution, the government underlined the need to “continue proactively and actively partake and promote Vietnam’s role at multilateral mechanisms, especially ASEAN, the United Nations, APEC, and Greater Mekong Subregion cooperation.”

Also this year, the 13th National Party Congress decided to increase multilateral diplomacy, promoting Vietnam’s role in the multilateral mechanisms. The bloc is crucial to Vietnam’s security and development as it embraces 21 economies making up 38 per cent of the global population, 61 per cent of GDP, and 47 per cent of global trade.

According to the MoFA, Vietnam has actively proposed many feasible measures to support APEC in shunning the risks of broken supply chains and ensuring smooth operations of regional export-import markets.

“Vietnam is a key participant in the formulation of the APEC Vision 2040 and plays an active role in realising the vision. This is a significant guiding document, defining APEC’s priorities over the next two decades regarding trade-investment liberalisation and facilitation and promoting its pioneering role in new areas of this century. Vietnam has proposed and implemented about 20 initiatives to implement the vision,” said MoFA Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc.

APEC is home to many major economic partners of Vietnam, including nine strategic partners and five comprehensive partners. The group’s members last year accounted for over 77 per cent of trade and 38 per cent of official development assistance in Vietnam.

Seven of the bloc’s economies are Vietnam’s biggest export markets: the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Under APEC’s Bogor Goals, by 2020 all member economies liberalised trade and investment via the reduction of trade barriers and the promotion of free-flowing goods, services, and capital among its economies.

After a series of virtual engagements over the last two years, the 2022 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week has brought together leaders, ministers, and senior officials of the 21 member economies against a backdrop of economic and geopolitical challenges to collaborate and focus on building a more resilient and inclusive future for the region.

The event focused on advancing regional economic integration through a refreshed dialogue on the free trade area of Asia-Pacific, reconnecting the region with revival of the travel and tourism industry, and setting a plan for inclusive, balanced, and sustainable growth.

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