APEC 2017: Inclusive growth in APEC – No one left behind hinh anh 1Delegates at the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (Source: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – Inclusive growth is becoming an important content that has topped recent agendas of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forums as it aims to have no one left behind during the development process.

At their meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang city this weekend, APEC leaders are expected to discuss the host country’s initiative on inclusive growth. If adopted, this will be a new step forward in the forum’s development process.

APEC was established on November 6, 1989, in Canberra, Australia with the main purpose of fostering sustainable economic development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

To achieve the target, over the past 28 years, APEC has implemented a series of measures, including trade and investment liberalisation, and has seen significant results.

According to a report of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), in the past more than two decades, APEC’s economic growth rate was also higher than the rest of the world.

The PSU forecasts that during 2017-2018, the region’s GDP growth rate is likely to reach 3.8 percent, higher than the global rate.

Over the past time, people’s living conditions have been improved as well. The number of poor people in region decreased by over 802 million during 1993-2002 while the number of extremely poor ones went down 83.5 percent, from 842 million to 139 million people.

However, PSU statistics show that the region’s unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent in 2013, higher than the 4.4 percent of 2007, which meant that trade and investment liberalisation had caused structural unemployment.

Economists predict that structural unemployment may increase in the time ahead and many people are facing the risk of being left behind in the hunt for jobs due to negative impacts of globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, who is APEC 2017 SOM Chair, said: “economic growth plays an important role in raising people’s living conditions, but it is not a final goal”.

Therefore, APEC needs a strategic and comprehensive approach to inclusive growth, he said, adding that an all-round APEC action plan in three pillars will generate great benefits.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency reporters on the sidelines of the fourth APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Meeting, David Toua from Papua New Guinea, ABAC Chair 2018, stated: “Inclusive growth is very important to many economies within APEC so many of the 21 economies support inclusive growth very strongly”.

Papua New Guinea will be including inclusive growth in its priorities for 2018 as the APEC host, following what Vietnam has been treating as priorities, he affirmed.-VNA