APEC leaders pose for a photo on November 18 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Hosting APEC in 2017, Vietnam vows to work side by side with other members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in fostering regional economic integration towards the prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, President Truong Tan Sang said on November 19.

The president made the remarks at the first plenary session of the 23rd APEC Summit in Manila, the Philippines.

The region has seen a rapid transformation, he said, speaking highly of the APEC 2015’s efforts to stimulate quality development.

He called on APEC member economies to continuously foster regional economic integration towards sustainable development goals and focus their cooperation on reducing poverty, development gap and disaster risk; ensuring food security; and developing sustainable agriculture and green tourism.

The APEC economies also need to step up economic and technical cooperation and support for improved capability of developing members, particularly in new-generation economy and trade, the President added.

Having great potentials in economy, science and technology, the APEC members and enterprises should get more involved in sub-regional and regional integration schemes, notably the ASEAN and Mekong, he noted.

Highlighting contributions of Vietnam to strengthening APEC and regional economic integration, the state leader said Vietnam has learned great lessons from 30 years of the “Doi moi” (Renewal) process, which show economic growth is fueled by greater integration while the determinant of sustainable and inclusive growth is reform, particularly reforms of economic system, human resources and infrastructure.

At the first plenary session, themed “Inclusive growth through regional economic integration”, APEC leaders were firmly committed to achieving the Bogor Goals in 2020 towards the establishment of the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and developing the region as a driving force of regional and global connectivity.

They affirmed their support for multilateral trade and adopted measures to enhance quality development, reform and increase the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in global markets to boost growth.

The APEC 23 Summit, themed “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”, officially opened in Manila on November 19. This is the second time the Philippines has hosted the APEC Summit, with the first time being in 1996.-VNA