2017 women & economy forum helps with APEC’s common efforts hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan speaks at the second APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy Meeting in Hue city on September 26 (Photo: VNA)

Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) – The theme of the 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum (WEF) is meant to contribute to APEC’s common efforts, helping to continue implementing APEC leaders’ recommendations on women’s economic, financial, social integration and economic empowerment while promoting women’s equal access to quality education and economic resources, said a participating official.

The 2017 WEF is taking place in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, from September 26 to 29 under the theme “enhancing women’s economic inclusion and empowerment in the changing world”.

Talking to media outlets on the event’s sidelines, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan said the theme of the 2017 WEF is associated with priorities specified at previous APEC WEFs in recent years. It is also in line with the existing situation and the development trend in the region.

About 600 million women are in the labour force of APEC, she noted, adding that over 60 percent of them work in the formal sector and another 40 percent in the informal sector. They contribute up to 89 billion USD to APEC every year.

APEC leaders always highly value women’s role in economic integration and development, she noted.

Lan admitted that women’s potentials have yet to be fully tapped, and that’s why the APEC economies agreed to include women’s economic empowerment and inclusion in the common agenda.

She added that while bright prospects for the global economic growth can been seen, the booming information technology revolution has generated multiple business opportunities and profit for the regional economy. That will also bring about more chances and favourable conditions for the female workforce and women-owned enterprises.

She expressed her hope that the 2017 WEF will adopt a ministerial statement on women and the economy. This document, set to propose policy recommendations for the 21 APEC member economies, will be submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in central Da Nang city this November.

Deputy Minister Lan also said she looks forward to the member economies’ approval of Vietnam’s initiative on APEC gender inclusion guidelines.

The participation of numerous delegates from governments and the private section in main and side events of the forum will help tighten the public-private partnership. The WEF is a chance for APEC governments to learn about the private sector’s aspirations and, together with this sector, discuss ways to improve women’s economic empowerment.

The official added the forum also serves as a precious opportunity for Vietnam to step up investment promotion and popularise the country’s culture, people and tourism.

Established in 1989, APEC comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

They account for 39 percent of the world population, 57 percent of the world GDP and 47 percent of the global trade, according to statistics in 2014.-VNA