The 21st Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit opened on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on October 7.

The event, held in Indonesia for the second time since the first in Bogor in 1994, is the host’s key foreign activity this year.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono highlighted the significance of the summit themed ‘Resilient Asia-Pacific: Engine for global growth’, asserting that the 21-member APEC’s efforts in the implementation of the Bogor goals on trade and investment liberalisation over the last 19 years have helped the forum become a driving force for its members’ dynamism and prosperity.

Amid globally unsustainable growth and plummeting trade, the forum is a venue for Asian-Pacific leaders to talk about solutions for regional economic connectivity as well as the forum’s contributions to regional and global growth.

Following the ceremony, the leaders had the first working session on APEC’s role in enhancing the multilateral trade system given the current global economy.

The 21 heads reached a statement affirming APEC’s political determination and strong support for pushing up the World Trade Organisation Ministers’ Meeting to approve a new agreement (Bali package) on development issues, agriculture and trade facilitation.

They also agreed to fulfil the Bogor goals by 2020 in efforts to form a resilient, cohesive, fair and sustainable Asia-Pacific.

As one of the leaders invited to deliver an introductory speech at this first session, President Sang underlined APEC’s prime urgent task of pushing for a concrete agreement to be reached at the World Trade Organisation Ministers’ Meeting in December to create a breakthrough for the Doha talks and a driving force for the global economy’s growth to rebound and develop stably.

He asserted Vietnam’s support to flexible efforts for a balanced Bali package, in which development priority needs to go to special, different treatments for developing and under-developing countries.

The Vietnamese President also called for APEC to be more radical in carrying out the Bogor goals and beefing up cooperation as the face of the global economy and trade rapidly changes.

APEC also needs to dole out strong support for the reform of economic governance and global trade towards equality, democracy, civilisation and efficiency, promoting the role of both developing and emerging economies, President Sang said.

He affirmed that Vietnam has interests and is willing to work with other APEC member economies to strongly implement regional economic connectivity and consolidate the multilateral trade system.

At the session, President Sang officially announced that Vietnam will host the 25 th APEC Summit in 2017, which received strong support and high evaluation from all APEC member economies and will be put on this year’s summit declaration.

This will be the second time Vietnam has been credited to host an APEC summit. The 14 th APEC summit took place in Hanoi in November 2006.

Earlier on in the day, in the framework of the summit, President Sang and other APEC leaders attended a dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council, which gathered executives of leading groups in the region and the world, to discuss how to facilitate trade, investment, financial markets, and small and medium-sized enterprises, along with increasing the supply chain efficiency, food security and energy.-VNA