Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from right) at the meeting of APEC and Pacific Islands leaders (Source: VNA)
 
Port Moresby (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is leading a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea at the invitation of his Papua New Guinea counterpart Peter O’Neill. 

Following a welcome ceremony for APEC leaders hosted by the Papua New Guinea PM, PM Phuc attended a dialogue between APEC leaders and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), during which ABAC members and corporate representatives from Asia-Pacific offered important recommendations on promoting regional economic connectivity, supporting multilateral trade system, developing digital economy, facilitating the participation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in global supply chains, stepping up inclusive development and building the APEC Vision beyond 2020. 

APEC leaders promised to consider the suggestions in the building of APEC cooperation orientations and development policies of economies. 

After the plenary session, PM Phuc together with the Indonesian President, the Australian PM and the head of the Taiwan (China) delegation co-chaired a dialogue with ABAC businesses. 

Participants voiced their specific concern about open and free trade, digital and cyber economy, sustainable and inclusive development, and the equal sharing of trade liberalization for all. Many ABAC members congratulated Vietnam on its recent ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), describing it as a great opportunity for foreign enterprises to increase their presence in the country. 

PM Phuc, for his part, said the Vietnamese legislature’s adoption of the CPTPP affirms Vietnam’s determination to continue with comprehensive reform, active and proactive integration into the world, and support open and rule-based trade and investment with high standards. 

He said the pact creates a driving force for the country to accelerate institutional reform, economic restructuring, improvement of business climate and labour output, thus offering businesses more opportunities to join deeper into global value and production chains. 

The PM noted that with the ratification of the CPTPP and the upcoming signing and ratification of the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Vietnam will join a network of 16 FTAs with nearly 60 partners, which account for 61 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and 68 percent of the global trade volume. 

About Vietnam’s preparations for digital economic development, Phuc said Vietnam is actively preparing infrastructure for the digital economy, specifically building an e-government and smart cities. The country also issued a number of important policies for the effort. 

Later, the PM attended a dialogue between APEC leaders and leaders from 14 Pacific island states, namely Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands. 

Themed “Partnership for Inclusive Digital Future”, the dialogue focused on the partnership between APEC and the island states to fuel regional growth and economic connectivity, cope with common challenges, especially climate change, towards an inclusive and sustainable digital area.

Speaking at the event, PM called for further collaboration between APEC and the Pacific islands to promote sustainable, transparent and highly resilient economic connectivity. 

He thanked Asia-Pacific countries, including the Pacific islands, for supporting Vietnam’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure. He wished to receive more of their support in the near future.-VNA