Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh made the statement in an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the 23rd Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT 23) to be held in Hanoi on May 20-21.
He affirmed that over the past 28 years, APEC economies have recorded impressive growth. The region’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased from US$16 trillion in 1989 to over US$20 trillion in 2016, with per capita income rising by 74%.
Regarding trade, Anh noted that the region’s average tax rate declined from 11% in 1996 to 5.5% in 2016, which reflected efforts made by the region and each economy to implement cooperative activities on trade liberalisation and trade and investment facilitation.
The International Monetary Fund’s Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific estimates growth for the region to increase this year to 5.5% from 5.3% in 2016, he revealed.
The minister emphasised the need for APEC economies to coordinate harmoniously in building a general trade system towards equality and balance, for interests of people and businesses and for prosperity of society.
“Specially, we need to always define shortcomings of globalisation and trade liberalisation so to take thorough and sustainable moves that ensure each economy’s benefits harmoniously,” he said.
In fact, Vietnam also has economic sectors where people and businesses are vulnerable to negative impacts of the globalisation process. Therefore, it is necessary to consider demand, capacity and specific conditions to ensure the integration are feasible, effective, and transparent.
“Once equality in the integration framework and commitments to joining the globalisation process are achieved, each economy’s sustainable development, social equality and prosperity will be guaranteed,” he added.
Regarding the MRT 23, Minister Anh said that Vietnam gives high priority to main outcomes that need to be reached during the event with a hope to coordinate with other APEC economies in building a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Asia-Pacific region.
Within the MRT 23 framework, Vietnam wants ministers to review achievements and discuss responsibly cooperative agreements and orientations on trade development towards trade liberalisation, he added.