|Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son
Opening the meeting, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, who is APEC 2017 SOM Chair, said the outlook for the Asia-Pacific remains the strongest in the world, with momentum picking up, as showed in the latest IMF World Economic Outlook.
However, the report also pointed out that near-term outlook is clouded with significant uncertainties and challenges, which call for individual economy actions to be supported by multilateral cooperation, as well as policies to support growth while boosting structural reforms, resilience and inclusiveness.
“Therefore, the cluster of SOM2 and related meetings, especially our meeting today and tomorrow is critical to executing the adopted priorities, advancing new initiatives, preparing for the Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, and starting to shape the agenda and identify possible deliverables for the Leaders’ Week,” he stressed.
During the meeting, the APEC senior officials will note the progress of developing the APEC Framework on Cross-border E-commerce Facilitation and discuss recent developments of FTAs/RTAs in the region and the implementation of Lima Declaration on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
They will also discuss how APEC can support the multilateral trading system (MTS) and contribute to the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference as well as other trade and investment issues, including regulatory cooperation, supply chain connectivity and global value chains cooperation.
The officials are scheduled to look into the progress in the development of the Strategy on Green, Sustainable and Innovative micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the Action Plan on Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security and Inclusive Growth through the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS).
They will also discuss efforts to enhance women’s economic empowerment as well as the progress in the development of the proposal on “Bridging Gap in Economic Development and Integration of Remote Areas for Sustainable Growth in the APEC Region.”