MESSAGE BY THE PRESIDENT OF S.R. OF VIET NAM TRAN DAI QUANG

Hosting APEC 2017 is a top priority in Viet Nam’s foreign policy agenda, as it aspires to make greater contribution to an ever thriving Asia-Pacific region. After more than 30 years of reform and extensive regional and international integration, Viet Nam today is a highly open and dynamic economy, projected to become one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world.

All preparations are being made to ensure that 2017 is another successful year for APEC. Viet Nam is ready to welcome all member economies to participate in APEC 2017 activities, held throughout Viet Nam, as well as in other member economies.

APEC is at a crucial juncture. A rapidly changing world and a transforming Asia-Pacific are presenting us with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change have laid important foundations for sustainable, inclusive and equitable global development. Yet, the confluence of prolonged economic stagnation, new waves of protectionism, terrorism, regional conflicts and climate change, amongst others, ever more complex and interrelated non-traditional security challenges are exerting far-reaching impacts on each and every economy, business and individual across the world.

More than ever, APEC must continue to uphold its leading and pioneering role in creating new drivers to build the Asia-Pacific into a region of peace, stability and dynamic, sustainable and inclusive development. Viet Nam therefore proposes “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” as the overarching theme for APEC 2017.

Accordingly, APEC 2017 deliberations shall seek to create new dynamism in order to:

- Accelerate the accomplishment of the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalization by 2020 according to its roadmap;

- Deepen regional integration through efforts to revitalize economic, trade and investment ties; promote connectivity in all the three domains – infrastructure, institution and people; promote global value chains connectivity; enhance sub-regional and remote area connectivity; promote sustainable tourism, and expand cultural, youth and student exchanges;

- Further sustainable, inclusive and equitable growth; accelerate structural reforms; raise productivity and develop high-quality human resources. It is essential to better tap into the opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

- Improve the competitiveness and innovation of enterprises, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the digital economy and the internet; unleash the great potentials of  public-private partnerships and businesses, especially women-led enterprises and young entrepreneurs.

- Increase the resilience and inclusiveness of APEC economies, particularly in promoting education, employment, healthcare, gender equality, sustainable rural and agricultural development to adapt to climate change,  andensuring food, energy and resources security, especially water resources.

The 21st century is expected to be the century of the Asia-Pacific, home to the world’s most dynamic economies. Throughout its 27 years of existence, APEC has proven to be aresponsive and effective mechanism, making important contributions to regional prosperity. It is now incumbent upon APEC to reaffirm its role as an incubator of ideas and a driver for regional growth and connectivity.

It is therefore crucial that APEC member economies continue to discuss the post-2020 vision and direction for APEC ,  working together towards an Asia-Pacific partnership for sustainable and inclusive development for the 21st century.