Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam contributed responsibly to the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in Papua New Guinea from November 12-18, said Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.

Son told the press that during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 17-18, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed many plans aiming to enhance free and open trade and investment, and regional connectivity, and promote APEC’s role in intensifying the rules-based international order.

Vietnam also showed support for global institutions, an open, transparent, equal and non-discriminatory trading system, as well as the WTO’s central role, Son said.

PM Phuc suggested APEC nurture innovative and creative initiatives to turn Asia-Pacific into a global technological centre.

He also proposed developing the digital economy, promoting innovative startups and building an innovative and creative ecosystem in the region, the official added.

The PM stressed the need for APEC to boost innovative and inclusive growth, implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), put people at the centre of development, ensure food and water resources development and cope with climate change.

As Vietnam initiated the building of the APEC Post-2020 Vision, the leader also made suggestions towards the formation of an Asia-Pacific community of peace, stability, dynamism, inter-connectivity and prosperity, Son noted.

Regarding outcomes of the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, Son said member economies agreed to accelerate the completion of Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalisation by 2020 and the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint by 2025, promote e-commerce and services and settle non-tariff barriers, gearing towards the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

They also consented to realise the action programme on inclusive growth and the framework on human resources development in the digital era adopted in Vietnam’s central province of Da Nang last year.

They displayed their support for sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, the acceleration of structural reform, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, rural and urban development and women’s economic empowerment.

Several solutions to create an open, accessible and safe environment for the digital economy were also set forth during the event.

Besides, delegates agreed to push ahead with the implementation of commitments reached in 2017 regarding the building of the Post-2020 Vision, towards an Asia-Pacific community of peace, stability, dynamism and inter-connectivity.

However, there still remained major gaps in viewpoints of some members on trade protection and the multilateral trading system, Son said, adding this was among the major reasons preventing APEC leaders from reaching a joint statement.

Although the APEC leaders for the first time failed to agree on a joint communiqué, member economies expressed their confidence in the crucial role of APEC, which has contributed to making Asia-Pacific a driving force of global growth and economic connectivity.

They are scheduled to gather in Santiago, Chile, in November 2019 for the 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

During the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, PM Phuc met with many leaders of other APEC economies, and had dialogues with major businesses of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and representatives from the US-APEC Business Alliance.

On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh met New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker to hand over Vietnam’s document ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to him.

Minh also had meetings with his New Zealand counterpart Winston Raymond Peters, and foreign ministers from some APEC member economies.

Son said the leaders affirmed their support for Vietnam’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

Meanwhile, business leaders lauded Vietnam’s increasing role in regional and global production chains, as well as the Vietnamese Government’s resolve to spur development and continue with reforms and international integration.

The enterprises said they will soon operate in Vietnam or expand investment and business in the country, according to Son.-VNA