Sharing about Vietnam’s contribution to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum over the past 25 years, the deputy minister affirmed that joining APEC in 1998 was a strategic decision in the country’s international economic integration cause, laying a foundation for global integration and contributing to the development of the country and the region as well.

Over the past 25 years, Vietnam has made active, responsible and effective contribution to all cooperation aspects of the APEC forum and left many significant imprints.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang

Firstly, Vietnam is one of the few APEC members that have twice successfully hosted the APEC Year in 2006 and 2017, during which many important results with strategic meaning to APEC as well as economic cooperation and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region were produced.

Secondly, Vietnam is one of the most active APEC members in proposing cooperation initiatives and projects. The country has proposed nearly 150 projects in various fields of human resources development, e-commerce promotion, food security, rural and urban development, ocean debris, and climate change response, among others. These initiatives and projects have contributed to accelerating APEC cooperation consistent with the concerns and interests of members and effectively serving Vietnam's socio-economic development targets.

Thirdly, Vietnam has affirmed its role in managing and speeding up APEC cooperative programs through undertaking important positions in the forum’s mechanisms. Notably, Vietnam has acted as Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Chair of the ASEAN Group at APEC, and Chair/Deputy Chair of many important committees and working groups of the forum. Moreover, Vietnamese businesses have also actively participated in the APEC Business Advisory Council and the APEC CEO Summit.

Hang underlined that the success of the APEC Year 2006 and APEC Year 2017, along with other important contributions of Vietnam to the forum, has helped enhance the position, role and reputation of Vietnam in the world arena, so the country should optimize opportunities and resources from APEC cooperation and regional economic coordination and linkage mechanisms to further promote the country’s socio-economic development.

Mentioning the agenda of the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 16-17, the deputy minister said APEC is currently the leading economic cooperation and connection mechanism in Asia-Pacific which is home to 39% of the world population and contributes 59% to the world GPD and nearly 50% of global trade.

This year, the meeting holds important meaning to the forum. It marks 30 years since the first meeting was held in the U.S.A. Moreover, it is to take place in the context that the world economy and the global and regional economic connectivity have witnessed deep changes, together with intertwined risks, challenges and opportunities, as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Therefore, APEC members should intensify dialogue and cooperation, turning challenges into opportunities for recovery and sustainable development.

Themed “Creating a resilient and sustainable future for all,” this year’s meeting will focus on evaluating APEC cooperation outcomes over the past 30 years, thereby drawing lessons and mapping out cooperation orientations in the new period with a goal of affirming APEC’s role as the leading forum on economic connection and cooperation, contributing to peace, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

Meanwhile, the leaders will also discuss major issues that the world and regional economies is are facing, especially boosting cooperation in trade, investment, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as strengthening regional economic connections and linkage, Ms. Hang added.

Regarding the meaning of Vietnam’s participation in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2023, the deputy minister shared that with the significance of this year’s meeting and the growing relationship between Vietnam and the U.S.A., President Vo Van Thuong’s trip to the U.S.A. for the meeting and bilateral activities carries important meaning.

The State President will join APEC leaders in discussing issues to the world and regional economies, issues of key significance to the world and regional economies, and setting out orientations for cooperation in trade, investment, science and technology, innovation and many other fields.

Vietnam and other APEC members will promote the spirit of dialogue, construction and responsibility while upholding multilateralism and joint action for sustainable development and prosperity of the region.

Also, President Thuong will attend and deliver a speech at the APEC CEO Summit. This event is expected to draw the participation of more than 2,000 leaders of leading firms in the world and Asia-Pacific region.

For the U.S.A., the Vietnamese state leader’s participation in this year’s meeting and bilateral activities with the U.S. leaders and partners, especially those in California, will contribute to boosting bilateral relations between the two countries in the spirit of their joint statement on the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership, especially in the fields of education and training, science-technology, innovation and locality-to-locality connectivity.

Concluding the interview, Deputy Minister Nguyen Minh Hang reaffirmed that the State President’s trip to the U.S.A. for the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and bilateral activities is part of the important external relations activities in 2023 of the Party and State’s leader, contributing to consolidating a peaceful, stable and favorable foreign affairs complexion  for the country’s development.

Translated by Quynh Oanh