To highlight the theme of APEC 2017 and ensure continuity to the priorities of APEC Peru 2016, Vietnam has selected four priorities:
1. Promoting Sustainable, Innovative and Inclusive Growth
Sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth has been one of APEC’s top priorities in the context of global economic uncertainties and rising inequalities. Emphasis is placed on the dimensions of sustainability and inclusiveness of growth in order to help realize the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth for the period until 2020 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, structural reform and innovation are crucial in creating new dynamism for growth through improving labor productivity, enhancing human resource development and ensuring effective resource allocation. This pattern of growth places people and businesses at its center.
2. Deepening Regional Economic Integration
Deepening regional economic integration and improving connectivity in recent years have been high on APEC agenda to meet economies’ increased demands for greater economic linkages and development. This year, APEC will continue to accelerate the realization of the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020 with a new sense of urgency as well as enhance the three dimensions of connectivity, physical, institutional and human to human. Renewed efforts will be needed for APEC to endure as the driver of deeper regional economic integration.
3. Strengthening MSMEs’ Competitiveness and Innovation in the Digital Age
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are key drivers of growth and employment for APEC economies. It is their growth and greater inclusion in global value chains that will translate into the dynamic development of the economy. The arrival of the digital age, with all its opportunities and challenges, has made it all the more important to strengthen MSMEs’ “competitiveness and innovation”. This priority for APEC 2017 will help maintain the important momentum to advance APEC's work with regard to MSMEs.
4. Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change
Food security has always assumed major importance in APEC cooperation as the Asia-Pacific region provides 55% of global agricultural produce. Food security is also listed as the second goal of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In recent years, APEC has increased its focus on addressing the negative impact that climate change has had on efforts to improve food security and achieve sustainable agriculture. Linking food security with “sustainable agriculture in response to climate change” is aimed at helping APEC respond more effectively to the ever intensifying impacts of climate change in the region.