Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade and MRT 23 Chair speaks at a press conference after the closing session of the MRT 23. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The 23rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT 23) wrapped up in Hanoi on May 21 after two working days, producing practical outcomes that contribute to boosting the process of realizing APEC Year 2017’s themes and priorities, and laying the foundation for the next steps towards the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November.

Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade and MRT 23 Chair made the remarks at a press conference after the closing session of the MRT 23, the first Ministerial Meeting of the APEC Year 2017 and the only of its kind held in Hanoi.

He said at the meeting, delegates voiced their strong support for the necessity of maintaining APEC’s role as a driving force of regional economic growth and connectivity, and an incubator of ideas for regional cooperation and connectivity as well as for the prosperity of Asia-Pacific.

Delegates also agreed to continue working for the completion of the Bogor Goals on trade liberalization and investment in 2020.

The Minister further said the meeting demonstrates APEC's determination to continue building a sustainable, transparent, multilateral trading system, taking law as an important base and foundation for international trade.

It also represents APEC’s support of the 11th WTO Ministers Meeting to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December this year, he added.

The Minister also informed that the meeting reviewed the development of several initiatives and priorities during the APEC 2017, including the further implementation of the Lima Declaration on the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area, the development of a cross-border e-commerce facilitation framework; supporting industry initiatives; the draft of an action plan on economic, financial and social promotion in the APEC region.

The ministers also examined the building of the APEC Framework for Human Resource Development in the digital age and the APEC vision for the post-2020 era, which will be submitted to the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting and the 25th Economic Leaders’ Meeting for approval.

On the sidelines of the meeting, several events were held, including the APEC App Challenge to help SMEs participate more actively in the regional market and an international symposium on the trade and innovation with the participation of Ministers and representatives of the business community in the region, he added.

The meeting also adopted a Chair Statement, the Minister said.-VNA