The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) convenes its second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings on May 9 in Hanoi.
The second major session during the APEC Year 2017 includes meetings of the various committees and task force groups.
Through these meetings, hosted by Vietnam, APEC aims to continue to be a leading cooperative mechanism which grasps new trends and pioneers economic links amid regional and global uncertainties.
Since its establishment 28 years ago, APEC, a top economic link mechanism in Asia-Pacific, has faced challenges: mounting protectionism, slow growth, and trade decline. Stronger APEC economic integration is called for.
Boosting APEC cooperation to match new competition environment
The 4th industrial revolution is changing the world, leading to urbanization, new trends in technology, a shift in labor, and a widening income gap. In addition to pushing for easier trade and investment, APEC now focuses on non-traditional cooperation areas like fighting terrorism, technology sharing, and natural disaster response to forge greater integration for sustainable development.
Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, Senior Advisor to Viet Nam's APEC 2017 National Secretariat said, “The most prominent feature of the second decade of the 21st century is the rapid shift in the world economic foundations and in economic prowess, calling us to catch up with what’s going on the world. A quick shift is also reported in forming economic links and increasing levels of commitments.”
Commenting on challenges facing APEC and the need to achieve APEC’s new growth targets, former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan said: “Previously, APEC was a monopoly mechanism. But now other mechanisms are emerging, most notably the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and bilateral mechanisms. So, what should APEC do to gain a strong foothold and avoid overlapping and rivalry?”
APEC has initiated new ideas for cooperation, including minimizing environmental impacts on economic development and creating connectivity between sustainable growth and environmental issues.
Vietnam’s efforts to head to the future together with APEC
2,000 delegates representing 21 member economies of APEC are attending meetings in Hanoi to implement long-term cooperative programs and plans and reach consensus on agendas of the APEC Summit slated for later this year and to be submitted to the Ministers for approval.
Hosting the APEC Summit for the second time, Vietnam hopes to demonstrate its dynamism and contribute to effective cooperation within APEC.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said, “Vietnam is entering a period of new strategies, continued extensive reform, economic restructuring, and proactive, greater international integration. That’s why the Asia-Pacific region and APEC are crucial to Vietnam. Vietnam intends to work with other APEC members towards a self-reliant, united, evenly-developed, fair, and sustainable Asia-Pacific.”
APEC is in the urgent phase of achieving the Bogor goals on trade and investment liberalization by 2020. APEC needs a new growth momentum which will benefit all member economies, a top priority for Vietnam during APEC Year 2017.