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APEC Ministerial Meeting wraps up

Released at: 10:38, 10/11/2017 APEC Viet Nam 2017

APEC Ministerial Meeting wraps up

Photo from apec2017.vn

Ministers endorse four major initiatives as core deliverables for APEC 2017 during two-day meeting on November 8 and 9.

by Long Van

The 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting, under the co-chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, came to an end in Da Nang on November 9 after two days.

The meeting was attended by ministers from APEC economies and representatives of ASEAN, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

Director General of the WTO Roberto Avezedo also attended.

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to sustaining momentum on regional cooperation, reinforcing APEC’s role as the premier regional economic forum, and upholding APEC’s ability to adapt, transform, and provide leadership in the region. Ministers discussed specific measures to promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and achieve the Bogor Goals, promote quality growth, strengthen infrastructure connectivity, investment and development, and implement structural reform. They emphasized the need for continued efforts in emergency preparedness and disaster management and building resilience for APEC communities, and stressed the importance of capacity building to further enhance APEC economies’ ability to participate in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and free trade agreements (FTAs). Ministers also welcomed economies’ efforts to implement the Lima Declaration on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

Ministers agreed on the need for APEC to create new dynamism with a view to reinforcing the Asia-Pacific’s profile as a driver of global economic growth and integration. They emphasized the importance of structural reform to improve productivity, supporting MSMEs to boost growth and ensure employability, fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups, providing the labor force with the skills needed to meet the new and emerging demands of jobs in the digital age, and applying science and technology to ensure food security and sustainable rural-urban development in response to climate change.

They endorsed four major initiatives as core deliverables for APEC 2017: the APEC Cross-Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework, the APEC Strategy on Green, Sustainable and Innovative SMEs, the Food Security and Climate Change Multi-Year Action Plan 2018-2020, and the Action Plan on Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth.

Ministers agreed on strategic documents to be submitted to APEC Economic Leaders. A number of initiatives proposed and adopted this year are people- and business-centered and focus on narrowing the development gap. These initiatives will support efforts to build a dynamic, sustainable, and inclusive APEC community, open up the potential for regional growth through quality human resources development and education cooperation, creating equal opportunity for all people, including women and young people, and contribute to economic development and enable the realization of the fruits of free trade and growth. These deliverables are vital to overall endeavors to underwrite peace, stability, dynamism, inclusiveness and prosperity in the region, where the people and businesses are at the center.

The meeting welcomed the endorsement of the “APEC Towards 2020 and Beyond” paper, which is an important deliverable of APEC 2017 and helps prepare APEC to enter its fourth decade of development and to achieve the Bogor Goals by 2020.

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