APEC should continue to send out the message on its pioneer role in supporting an open, rule-based, transparent and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, along with further promoting the central role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), he said at the session themed “Connecting for inclusive growth through digital future”.
In the context of unprecedented challenges that threaten the stability of the global trade system, each APEC member should display its strong resolve, he said, stressing the acceleration of the liberalisation of trade and investment, and respect for international orders based on law as well as the role of global institutions, especially the WTO.
The Vietnamese PM suggested stepping up the structural reform in order to narrow gaps among economies and integrating the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform in the agenda of APEC members, thus ensuring benefits brought about by innovation and technology will reach all citizens and businesses, while supporting disadvantaged groups and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
APEC needs to push ahead with the effective implementation of the initiative on cross-border e-commerce, and internet and digital economy, he added.
Besides, APEC should invest in digital infrastructure, speed up digital transformation towards comprehensiveness, trustworthiness and safety, focusing on digital trade infrastructure and fin-tech, connect innovative and creative centres, promote startups and upgrade organisation and administration skills, he proposed.
PM Phuc appealed to developed economies to assist developing ones in structural transformation, administration capacity building and technological application to improve connectivity ability in the digital era.
He informed APEC leaders that Vietnam had approved the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on November 12, noting that it is a specific step forward for the country to participate deeper in the global value chain.
The PM also highlighted Vietnam’s efforts in economic reform, growth model transformation and improvement of business environment, personnel quality and social welfare.
At the session, the APEC leaders reached consensus on the digital economy action programme, and agreed to strengthen cooperation in capacity building, skill development and narrowing digital gaps.
They emphasised the participation of all social elements in the digital economy, technological application, innovation and creation for sustainable and quality growth.
The leaders also committed to accelerating the completion of Bogor Goals by 2020 and the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint by 2025, gearing towards the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
Most of them showed their support for the rule-based, transparent, non-discriminatory and open multilateral trading system with the WTO playing the central role.
However, there still remained major gaps in viewpoints of some members on issues regarding trade and the multilateral trading system.