Official: Vietnam’s initiatives help APEC keep right track hinh anh 1Delegates at a meeting of the SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation on February 28 (Photo: VNA)

Khanh Hoa (VNA) - The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum should have a long-term vision and Vietnam has put forth various initiatives to help the forum keep its right track, an APEC official said on March 1.

Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, made the remarks at a press conference which was held on the threshold of the first APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) in Nha Trang city, central Khanh Hoa province.

During the conference, Dr Bollard and Dr Denis Hew, Director of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), shared the views on the context for SOM1 and discussed the outlook for policy collaboration between Vietnam and other APEC economies.

Dr Bollard said the APEC committees and working groups have just finished almost 60 technical meetings on a wide range of fields, including trade, investment and policy, and SOM1 will make a final decision on Vietnam’s proposed priorities for APEC Year 2017.

He told the participants that Vietnam has proposed four priorities: promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; deepening regional economic integration; strengthening micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)’ competitiveness and innovation in the digital age; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change.

Regarding the host country’s preparations for the SOM1 and related meetings, Dr Bollard stressed that Vietnam has made great efforts to organise these events. With 21 members, including both developed and developing economies, Vietnam has spent a lot of time discussing issues of concern raised by APEC members, he said.

On Vietnam’s proposed priorities, including the assistance to MSMEs, PSU Director Dr Hew noted APEC has carried out many programmes to support MSMEs and this year, APEC is planning to continue helping these enterprises gain easier access to technology and markets.

APEC will also assist MSMEs by promoting trade and policy reform through operations of APEC working groups and committees such as the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and the Economic Committee (EC), he added.

As scheduled, the SOM1 will convene in Nha Trang on March 2-3, where senior officials from the APEC member economies will decide on Vietnam’s proposals and consider the outcomes of committees’ and working groups’ meetings.

The APEC forum includes 21 members - 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.-VNA