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All in order

Released at: 14:36, 28/10/2017 APEC Viet Nam 2017

All in order

Photo: Duc Anh

Mr. Bui Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chair of the APEC 2017 National Committee, spoke with VET’s Ha Nguyen about Vietnam’s preparatory works for the APEC 2017 Summit Week in early November.

by Ha Nguyen

What can you tell us about Vietnam’s preparatory works as the host economy of APEC Vietnam 2017?

There is only just over a month left before the APEC Summit 2017, in which the APEC CEO Summit is one meeting of focus. Since Vietnam considers APEC 2017 as one the country’s major foreign affairs highlights for the year, the preparatory work for both APEC activities and the Summit Week have been completed carefully and in a timely manner. The APEC 2017 National Committee, established in 2015, has implemented a wide range of tasks and thoroughly grasped State President Tran Dai Quang’s instruction that preparations be conducted “carefully, respectably, efficiently, economically, and securely”.

Vietnam has successfully held six senior official meetings and six ministerial-level events in several cities and provinces that have been highly regarded by foreign partners in both content and logistics works.

In terms of content, Vietnam has won a lot of support from APEC economies on the theme of “Creating a New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” and the priorities for APEC 2017. Through activities and events to date, as the host economy Vietnam has worked hard and done well in harmonizing and moderating the interests, benefits, and differences among economies, pushing up APEC cooperation in order to maintain the bloc’s links and commitments to multi-lateral trade under the principles of fair cooperation and mutual benefit and respect. The results from previous seminars, workshops, and events in terms of economic, financial and social development, cross-border e-commerce, human resources in the digital era, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and startups provide a solid foundation for further discussions among APEC Ministers and CEOs during the APEC Summit Week in November.

Da Nang is the host city for the APEC 2017 Summit Week. Most preparatory works on the logistics side have been completed well, from healthcare, reception, information, and culture to security issues. I can say that all are ready to welcome APEC State leaders and CEOs to the APEC 2017 Summit Week in Da Nang, with some 10,000 in attendance.

What have been the major difficulties in the preparations?

The region and the world have been changing quickly and complexly in 2017, posing a great deal of challenges for APEC and Vietnam to complete preparatory works for the APEC Summit 2017. Firstly, the global economy has seen some level of recovery but risks are still present. APEC’s economic growth is forecast to be higher than global growth this year but the pace of economic and trade growth has not reached levels recorded in previous years. Global economic links have been at a slower pace, with the emergence of trade protectionism. This is a major challenge for the bloc, since APEC’s top priority is to bolster economic growth and links.

Secondly, there have been some concerns about the side-effects of globalization and the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), posing challenges to sustainably ensuring global economic development and links. Thirdly, APEC economies’ economic transition, climate change response, aging population, and lower workplace productivity are putting major pressure on regional and global development.

Though facing limited resources, Vietnam has worked hard to ensure all preparatory works for APEC Summit 2017 are done to the highest level possible, while the economy must distinguish itself as the host. This is a major challenge for Vietnam, but we view it as motivation that pushes us upwards to further development in the Asia-Pacific region.

What are the main messages of the APEC 2017 Summit Week? What does Vietnam want from APEC economies to make the Week a success?

Since the bloc represents 39 per cent of the world’s population and contributes 57 per cent of global GDP and 49 per cent of total global trade, APEC plays an important role in the world’s development and in each economy’s wealth and strengths. In the current global context, with many security and development challenges, the main message Vietnam wants economies to convey is “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” through the APEC 2017 Summit Week. This is also the APEC message for whole year of 2017, expressing economies’ interests in seeking new momentum for economic integration and connections.

There have been a wide range of initiatives carried out since the beginning of the year to promote sustainable economic development regionally, deepening regional economic connections, improving enterprises’ creativity and capacity, as well as sustainably strengthening food security and agricultural development. APEC will send a solid message on the regional mechanism of economic cooperation bringing actual benefits to people and enterprises. Some 600 million people still live on less than $2 a day, some 185 million still lack food, some 56 per cent lack financial knowledge, and some 80 per cent can’t afford healthcare.

As the host economy for the APEC 2017 Summit, Vietnam expects economies to share in the vision and vow to build an Asia-Pacific region that is peaceful, creative, self-reliant, and well-connected, creating the opportunity for all people to participate.

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