Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called upon Trade Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies to step up efforts to expand the advantages of market integration and trade, underscoring the facilitating role that cooperation in APEC must play to achieve the shared goal of greater prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific.
Prime Minister Phuc addressed Trade Ministers meeting on Saturday and Sunday in Ha Noi to detail their economies’ perspectives on the future of trade policy and establish greater alignment between them to ensure continued recovery in trade and economic growth in the fast-changing, uncertain globalized environment.
“The Asia-Pacific is witnessing multiple changes in politics, economy and technology,” Prime Minister Phuc said. “Cooperation plans and their fine goals might still fail to turn into reality when we lack trust, political determination and coordination to safeguard a peaceful environment, ensure security and safety for investment, and the flows of goods in the region.”
On the table for Trade Ministers is fostering the way forward for regional economic integration and the multilateral trading system. They are considering unfolding developments, including the progress of trade agreement negotiations and implementation, protectionist trends and avenues for reducing trade barriers, as well as a briefing from World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo on the global trade outlook.
Complementary focus for Trade Ministers is on establishing pathways to more sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth that addresses rising concerns about the unequal distribution of globalization’s benefits and the impact of technological change on market demand and people’s livelihoods. This includes opening up small business participation in trade, supported by new digital tools and opportunities to tap into cross-border production and supply chains.
“Advanced technologies have generated many opportunities but, at the same time, brought about substantial economic, cultural and social challenges,” Prime Minister Phuc noted. “APEC is aiming for a truly connected Asia-Pacific in terms of the people, infrastructure, technology and information in order to facilitate economic growth, trade and investment, and comprehensive institutional reform in each and every member economy.”
“APEC should step up economic and technical cooperation, experience and information sharing during the process of policymaking and implementation of cooperation programs to enhance the effectiveness and distinguish APEC cooperation,” Prime Minister Phuc added.
Trade Ministers are convening against the backdrop of improving trade and growth data coming out of APEC member economies.
“Momentum is picking up and thus the Asia-Pacific should uphold its role, strengthen economic and technical cooperation, enhance collective efforts to lead the path of development and prosperity,” said Viet Nam Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh, chair of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting.
“We gather here to better promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and strengthen economic and technical cooperation in APEC for the sake of shared development and prosperity,” Minister Tran concluded. “We are determined to build the inclusiveness of APEC, to ensure that the growth, globalization and free and open trade and investment we champion will be beneficial to all people and do not leave anyone behind.”
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