Vietnam backs rules-based multilateral trading system: official hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh  at the 28th MRT meeting. (Photo: VNA) 

Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnam supports a rules-based multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organization's (WTO) role in the global trade system, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh stated at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation  (APEC)'s 28th Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting.

In his speech at the event, which took place in both face-to-face and virtual forms in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 21-22, the deputy minister affirmed that Vietnam is ready to coordinate with WTO members to promote and approve key contents at the WTO’s 12 ministerial conference slated for June this year.

Regarding measures in APEC to reconnect the region after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese official spoke highly of initiatives and efforts to remove barriers, contributing to the resumption of safe and seamless travel, and economic recovery.

Vietnam backs rules-based multilateral trading system: official hinh anh 2Illustrative image (Photo: VNA) 

Vietnam supports the promotion of regional cooperation towards facilitating mutual recognition of vaccine passports, Khanh said, stressing that Vietnam will continue to closely coordinate with APEC member economies to develop and implement viable initiatives.

As an open economy that signed and implemented 15 free trade agreements (FTAs) with more than 60 partners, Vietnam has been working with APEC member economies to promote regional economic integration in accordance with the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, including the future realisation of a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

Thailand - the host of APEC 2022 - has chosen the theme for 2022 as “Open. Connect. Balance”.

At the event, APEC ministers focused their discussion on measures to reconnect the region in terms of people, trade and investment towards building a prosperous Asia-Pacific region with sustainable and inclusive growth in the future.

Another important issue of the 28th MRT meeting was the continued support for the WTO reform and a number of issues being discussed at the WTO, including the global food crisis, reform, agricultural subsidy, trade barriers and market expansion.

Participants were updated on new developments at the organisation in recent years, as well as the preparation for the WTO’s 12th ministerial conference this year.

The realisation of the Free Trade Area of Asia Pacific (FTAAP) was also one of the key issues tabled for consideration. It was the first time trade ministers of the MRT and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) had held dialogue on this issue within the framework of the 28th MRT meeting.

The 28th MRT meeting chaired by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, saw the participation of representatives from 21 APEC member economies, and the observers - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)./.