Hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017 is a lynchpin of Vietnam’s foreign policy towards 2020, reflecting the country’s best possible contributions to promoting shared interests within APEC in the evolving regional landscape, stated Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

In his keynote speech at the workshop on “APEC Vietnam 2017: Ways forward to a robust, resilient and inter-connected APEC community” in Hanoi on June 24, Minh affirmed that APEC always holds a strategic position in Vietnam’s reform, development and international integration.

The forum embraces most of Vietnam’s strategic and leading economic and trade partners, which make up 78 percent of the country’s FDI, 79 percent of total foreign trade amount and 70 percent of inbound tourists, he said.

Therefore, he requested ministries, agencies, localities and businesses to renovate their ways of thinking and doing, and to renew their cross-sectoral coordination.

He also stressed a critical role of businesses in initiating and promoting new ideas and innovation, and transfer of technology and management skills.

Moreover, “for more than 25 years now, APEC has proved itself to be the world’s leading mechanism for economic cooperation,” stated Minh. “It has been a pioneer in advancing trade and investment liberalisation and bolstering the vibrant trend of multi-layer-economic cooperation and integration for peace and development”.

In the next decades, the forum will continue to play an indispensable role in the evolving regional architecture, particularly in fostering coordination and inter-connection among regional mechanisms, he added.

Executive Manager of the APEC Secretariat Alan Bollard spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and positive contributions to APEC over the past more than 15 years, affirming that APEC members will stay by Vietnam’s side in preparing for and organising the APEC Vietnam 2017.

At the workshop, delegates made recommendations on fields and priorities Vietnam needs to boost in APEC framework in 2017, and on measures to successfully organise the APEC Vietnam 2017.

Established in November 1989, APEC now comprises 21 economies, representing around 39 percent of the world population, 57 percent of total global GDP and 47 percent of world trade.

Joining the forum in November 1998, Vietnam has made practical contributions to the forum, notably the successful organisation of APEC 2006 and the 6th APEC Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting in September 2014.-VNA