APEC Year 2017, with the freshly-concluded APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city the highlight, was comprehensively successful, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told the media on November 13.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh gives an interview about the outcomes of APEC Year 2017 

Comprehensive success

He elaborated that the comprehensive success can be seen from the organisation and chairing of events to reception, infrastructure, logistics, culture, communications to security and heath care.

The most important outcome is that APEC continues its economic cooperation and connection impetus, brings into play its role as the leading economic connection mechanism of the region, keeps its core value of trade and investment liberalisation, and supports multilateral trade.

The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6 to 11 was one of the few of its kind to be attended by leaders of all 21 member economies over the last decade. This showed their commitment and resolve to the APEC forum and the Asia-Pacific region.

More than 21,000 delegates took part in the 243 activities held during the APEC Year 2017 in Vietnam. The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week alone attracted about 11,000 delegates, he said, adding that these figures reflected the world and the region’s great attention to APEC.

Minh noted that this year’s outcomes created an important foundation for future APEC cooperation. Eight major documents were passed, particularly the Da Nang Declaration and the joint statement of the APEC Ministerial Meeting.

For the first time, APEC agreed to promote economic, financial and social inclusion and innovative startups, he said.

APEC leaders also set major plans for APEC cooperation until 2020 and beyond so as to work towards an APEC for people and businesses, help to build an Asia-Pacific community of peace, stability, dynamism, inter-connectivity and prosperity, and uphold APEC’s leadership in coping with new challenges.

The Deputy PM said ASEAN’s outstanding attainments and central role were highlighted during the year. The APEC leaders convened the first-ever dialogue with all 10 ASEAN members, aiming to enhance coordination in promoting regional growth and economic connectivity.

Practical benefits for Vietnam

By hosting the week and the APEC Year 2017, Vietnam has obtained all major targets, including improving the country’s role and stature in the international arena, strengthening its relations with other APEC economies, connecting Vietnamese enterprises with APEC firms, and popularising its development and business potential, he said.

He elaborated that the hosting helped the country carry out the foreign policy of diversifying and multilateralising foreign relations, integrating into the world, and boosting the effectiveness of multilateral diplomacy, with the goal of ensuring peace, stability and favourable conditions for national development.

Additionally, Vietnam made use of APEC activities to bolster ties with major partners, Minh noted, adding that on the occasion of the Week, Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet paid state visits to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an official visit.

These were historic trips during which strategic agreements were reached, heralding new chapters for Vietnam’s relations with partners. During the week, local leaders also held more than 50 meetings with leaders of partner countries. Vietnam signed 121 cooperation agreements worth nearly 20 billion USD in total. 

Many partners like Russia, China, Laos, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand also gave assistance in different forms to support flood victims in the central region hit by typhoon Damrey, Minh said.

During the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, Vietnam advertised its potential and opportunities for development, economy, trade, investment, services and tourism. Notably, the APEC CEO Summit attracted a record of over 2,000 businesses, including some 1,300 foreign firms. The Vietnam Business Summit drew about 2,200 businesses, including 850 Vietnamese companies. 

More than 80 meetings between localities and businesses took place on the sidelines of APEC activities, and many business cooperation plans between enterprises were formed.

The Deputy PM added through APEC events, regional economies learned about the dynamism and reforms of Vietnam’s economy, raising hope of a new influx of investment, trade and tourism into the country.

He attributed the successful organistion of the APEC Year 2017 to several factors, including the demand for growth momentum and regional economic connectivity in APEC. Vietnam realised this demand and worked to promote common voices.

Among subjective factors, one is the Party, State and Government’s leadership in hosting and the whole political system’s engagement in preparations for the year. Another factor is Vietnam’s higher standing after three decades of reform, along with APEC economies trust in the country.

Diplomatic wisdom helped Vietnam make methodological steps and deal with arising problems. It also made preparations early such as by setting up agencies in charge of activities in December 2014.

Joint efforts by localities, businesses and people were also important factors in the success of the APEC Year 2017, the Deputy PM Minh noted.

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