President Truong Tan Sang will attend the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related meetings in Bejing, China from November 9-11 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

He will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, who will attend the Foreign and Economic Ministerial Meeting on November 7-8.

The idea of APEC was firstly introduced by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and was realised on November 6, 1989. With 21 member economies, APEC has convened 22 summits since 1993 and 26 foreign and economic ministerial meetings.

Representing approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, 55 percent of global economic output and 44 percent of total trade, APEC aims to boost sustainable economic growth built on the three pillars of trade and investment liberalisation, business facilitation, and economic-technological cooperation.
APEC maintains its status as the largest Asian-Pacific economic and trade cooperation mechanism by strengthening its links with the world’s value and supply chains, and improving business climates.
Its members, including developing and developed economies, are strongly dedicated to building a stable and prosperous Asian-Pacific community.

Under the banner of “Shaping the future through the Asia-Pacific Partnership”, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting will focus on issues on connectivity, the birth of a regional free trade area, and emerging concerns in economic and trade collaboration. At the end of the event, two declarations by economic leaders and a joint statement by ministers are expected to be adopted.

The meeting takes place at a time of escalating tension in a number of hot spots in the region.

The year 2014 marks the 25th founding anniversary of APEC and the 20th anniversary of the Bogor goals of liberalising and facilitating trade and investment. APEC member economies give top priority to regional economic linkages, innovation, economic reform and growth, regional connectivity and infrastructure improvements.

Vietnam, together with Russia and Peru, joined APEC in 1998, marking a milestone in pursuing a diplomatic policy guided by openness, diversification, multilateralisation and integration into the world economy. During its new strategic period, Vietnam has regarded APEC as one of the most valued and utilised regional mechanisms for global integration.

Looking back over the past 16 years, Vietnam has become an active player in APEC, chairing APEC in 2006 and hosting the 14 th APEC Summit, the 18th APEC Foreign and Economic Ministerial Meeting and more than 100 events. Furthermore, Vietnam has strived towards the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), and implemented the Hanoi action plan to achieve Bogor goals, and a number of reforms to create new momentum for APEC’s cooperation.

Vietnam has suggested and participated in 80 initiatives in a number of areas, from trade, investment and health care, to counter-terrorism and food security. The country has also held key posts in APEC, including Vice Chair of the Trade and Investment Committee in 2006, Chair of the Working Group of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in 2006, Chair of the Budget Management Committee in 2007, Vice Chair of the Health Working Group for the 2009-2010 tenure, and Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Working Group for the 2012-2013 tenure.

The country also hosted the sixth APEC Ministerial Meeting on human resources development and a public-private dialogue to address SME’s funding difficulties. Nine initiatives will start next year, including opening a centre for workforce development in Vietnam, creating a global garment value chain, boosting the support industries, implementing community-based disaster management, and ensuring freedom in pricing for essential items.

Vietnam is also partnering with APEC member economies to host the 25 th APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting in 2017.-VNA