A lynchpin of our foreign policy towards 2020
08:56 | 30/09/2015
VGP - On November 14, 1998, Viet Nam, together with Russia and Peru, was admitted as an official member of APEC, which marked an important step in the process of regional and international economic integration of Viet Nam.

APEC role

Over the past years, APEC has played an important role in liberalizing and facilitating the trade and investment flows of the region. For more than 25 years now, APEC has proved itself to be the world's leading mechanism for economic cooperation. It has been a pioneer in advancing trade and investment liberalization and bolstering the vibrant trend of multi-layer-economic cooperation and integration for peace and development.

APEC encompasses many of the most dynamic economies in the region, representing around 39 per cent of the world population, 57 per cent of total global GDP and 47 per cent of world trade.

Since APEC's inception, the average tariff rate among its members has declined nearly three-fold and  intra-regional trade has increased by more than seven-fold.

In the coming decades, APEC will certainly continue to play an indispensable role in the evolving regional architecture, particularly in fostering coordination and inter-connection among regional mechanisms. And APEC will continue to serve as a key platform to elevate the profile of Asia - Pacific and an engine for global economic growth and integration.

In this flatter and more connected world, APEC is undergoing a fundamental shift in substance with more in-depth and pragmatic elements for integration.

A sense for an APEC Community will definitely be solidified by growing shared interests among its member economies. Such common denominators include maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity.

Viet Nam in APEC

As for Viet Nam, APEC always holds a strategic position in the country's reform, development and international integration.

APEC markets are creating more opportunities for Viet Nam to attract FDI and increase trade volume with partners in the group. APEC is also a condition for Viet Nam to assert the full integration of its economy. Many of Viet Nam’s significant partners are members of APEC such as the ASEAN, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Russia.

The forum indeed embraces most of our strategic as well as our leading economic and trade partners. They make up 78 per cent of Viet Nam's FDI, 79 per cent in total of the country's foreign trade amount and 70 per cent of inbound tourists.

And 13 out of 15 Free Trade Agreements signed or currently under negotiation by Viet Nam are with APEC member economies.

Despite being a new member, Viet Nam has actively and devotedly participated in economic, trade, investment cooporation programs and the liberlization process of APEC. Viet Nam has made many suggestions and initiatives. At the 11th APEC Leaders’ Summit in Bangkok (Thailand), two initiatives of Viet Nam on the enhancement of intra-regional cooperation and the establishment of APEC Micro-business Support and Investment Promotion Fund were highly appreciated. To date, Viet Nam has proposed 11 projects, all of which have been approved by APEC, focusing on competition policy, intellectual property, aquaculture, agriculture, science and industry. Viet Nam host the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2006 and is preparing for the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2017.

Viet Nam has strongly involved in a number of Collective Action Plans (CAPs) in two major cooperation areas including the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) and the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCCP), and paid high attention to the Economic and Technical Cooperation program (ECOTECH). Viet Nam has hosted a number of workshops in the framework of APEC such as the "Workshop on the development of small and medium-sized enterprises" (March 3-5, 2003), the “Workshop on strengthening cooperation in post-harvest technology transfer within APEC economies" (October 28-31, 2003), "the 13th Annual Meeting of the Asian Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) (January 10,2005)”, etc. Especifically, for the first time, Viet Nam host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting (APEC 2006) in November 2006. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan opened the International Conference on the Preparations for the Year of APEC- Viet Nam 2006.

For the first time, Viet Nam organized the workshop on "APEC Viet Nam 2017: Ways forward to a robust, resilient and inter-connected APEC Community" held in Ha Noi on June 24.

APEC Viet Nam 2017 - a lynchpin of our foreign policy towards 2020

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh affirmed that APEC Viet Nam 2017 is by and large a lynchpin of our foreign policy towards 2020. Given the country's growing international profile and the successful accomplishment of the APEC 2006, Viet Nam's hosting of APEC for the second time will be our best possible contributions to promoting shared interests within APEC in the evolving regional landscape.

The APEC 2017 is meaningful since Viet Nam will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its membership (1998 - 2018).

Apart from our ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, our candidacy for the U.N. Security Council for 2020 - 2021 and our efforts to fulfill WTO commitments by 2018, the APEC Year 2017 is another vivid example of Viet Nam's strong determination to deepen our comprehensive international integration and to lift up our multilateral diplomacy.

This will also offer an opportunity for Viet Nam and other ASEAN members to nurture the friendship, cooperation and bonds with regional partners, businesses and friends.

And at the same time, it will provide us with fresh impetus to put in place the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision and to fulfill the 2011-2020 Socio-economic Development Strategy.

The APEC 2017 and its related events will no doubt bring new opportunities for promoting interactions between businesses, localities and among citizens of Viet Nam.

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