Monday, 10/12/2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the 26th APEC Summit
30/11/2018 14:48' Send Print
APEC leaders pose for photos. Photo: VNA

The Prime Minister attended and joined discussions at numerous closed-door meetings, working luncheons with APEC leaders, and dialogues with the International Monetary Fund, leaders of 14 Pacific island states, the APEC Business Advisory Council. He also held bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Vanuatu, Thailand, the head of the Hong Kong (China) Special Administrative Region, and representatives from the US-APEC Business Alliance, including several major US firms investing in Vietnam.

At the meetings, the Vietnamese Prime Minister made strong calls for promoting trade liberalization and investment, supporting the World Trade Organization, economic connectivity, sustainable and inclusive development, and switch to digital economy.

He pointed out that APEC needs to create new driving forces for growth, trade, investment, connectivity and inclusive development, so that no one is left behind and all people can benefit from globalization and economic connectivity in the digital era. Only by so doing can APEC affirm its position as the leading economic forum in the region. The 2018 APEC Summit should demonstrate APEC's leading role in supporting the open, transparent, inclusive, fair and rule-based multilateral trading system. In the new context, it is necessary to continue consolidating, reforming and enhancing the WTO role.

As the top regional economic connectivity mechanism, APEC needs to actively promote existing cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN Economic Community, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), towards forming a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), on the basis of ensuring comprehensiveness, balance of interests and complementarity between connectivity mechanisms.

The Prime Minister made proposals which were highly appreciated by APEC economies for stronger and more comprehensive, and effective cooperation to (i) strengthen structural reform to narrow development gap among APEC economies. Accordingly, it is necessary to integrate the “new APEC Agenda on Structural Reform” into agendas of member economies. (ii) Effectively implement the initiatives “APEC Cross-Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework,” “APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap” and “Digital Economy Action Plan.” (iii) Invest in digital infrastructure and rapid implementation of digital conversion. Investment in building and efficient exploitation of national "big data" should be enhanced towards comprehensiveness, reliability and safety. At the same time, focus on digital commercial infrastructure, develop financial technology (fin-tech), connect innovation centers and promote start-ups. (iv) Upgrade organization and management skills both in the private and public sectors to absorb knowledge and advanced technology. (v) Support, cooperate to develop together in the digital economy. Developed economies with the advantage of being forerunners and in order to increase their advantage should strengthen policies that support developing economies in building structural transformation policies, management capacity and technology advances to improve connectivity in the digital revolution.

At the Summit, APEC leaders agreed to take advantage of opportunities to promote digital futures and actions on digital economy, promote cooperation in capacity building, skills development, access to digital infrastructure to narrow the digital divide; emphasize the participation and creativity of enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises and all social sectors.

The Summit also agreed to further promote open and free trade and investment, structural reforms linked to digital economy, and enhance competitiveness in service sector, with particular emphasis on education, training of human resources and raise the society's awareness on digital economy development. The leaders pledged to maintain regional economic cooperation and connectivity, hailed the negotiations and conclusion of comprehensive, high quality free trade agreements, such as CPTPP, RCEP, towards the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). Members committed to promote sustainable, inclusive growth that puts people's interests at the center of all policies; implement the 2017 APEC Action Plan on Inclusive Economic, Financial and Social Development to 2030 in connection with the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Also at the Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made known that the National Assembly of Vietnam just approved the CPTPP agreement on November 12, 2018, affirming Vietnam's determination to continue the comprehensive, proactive and active reform, international integration, support for rule-based and high standard, free, open trade and investment. Vietnam's economic connectivity is moving into a new phase with large scale and high quality.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s participation in the 26th APEC Summit amid the 20th anniversary of Vietnam's accession to APEC (1998-2018). It has continued raising Vietnam’s position and role in this important regional forum, affirming Viet Nam's proactive, active and responsible role in shaping regional economic connectivity, contributing to the common future of the common vision on a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia-Pacific Economic Community.

Nguyen Duc