APEC Symposium on Promoting Economic, Financial and Social Inclusion
28 August, 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – The Symposium on Promoting Economic, Financial and Social Inclusion in APEC - one of the major events of SOM 3 and Related Meetings - was held today. The symposium welcomed over 200 delegates including APEC Senior Officials, representatives from regional and international institutions, the private sector, academia and media. Vietnamese Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, APEC 2017 SOM Chair, H.E. Ambassador Bui Thanh Son attended the event.
“While APEC has made lots of efforts on promoting inclusion, there remain significant gaps between what APEC has done and the expectation of our people", Ambassador Bui Thanh Son said in his welcome remarks.
However, “there is currently no holistic set of policies in APEC to promote economic, financial and social inclusion, while these three pillars are mutually dependent and mutually reinforcing”, he added. Therefore, “equal attention should be paid to the three dimensions of economic, financial and social inclusion. Effectiveness of each dimension would be reduced if the other two are not keeping pace. Conversely, enhanced effectiveness of one dimension will feed into the other two”, he emphasized.
“Inclusion is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and well-reflected in all Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets. It is mirrored the key principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ and the United Nations' vision of a ‘just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most vulnerable are met”, said Mr. Kamal Malhotra, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Viet Nam, one of the keynote speakers.
In the meanwhile, Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Viet Nam, highlighted five common points which are said to be critical ingredients of inclusive development namely economic growth accompanied by rising wages and job creation; growth underpinned by sustained investment in people; financial inclusion as a key driver; policies to reduce discrimination in the labor market; enhancement of international coordination and multilateral action.
The opening session was followed by four consecutive sessions, focusing respectively on economic inclusion, financial inclusion, social inclusion, and promoting APEC agenda on economic, financial and social inclusion.
Insightful presentations have been delivered on various issues, such as assessment of the impact of regional and global trends on economic, financial and social development in the Asia-Pacific region; expectations and realities of inclusion in APEC; ways to promote inclusion; APEC's leading role in promoting inclusive development…
International organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization on Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), also had the chance to share their visions and experiences in promoting inclusion.
Delegates also commended APEC's efforts and achievements in addressing inequalities, poverty reduction, narrowing the development gap, and agreed that APEC needs a more comprehensive approach and overall measures to ensure people are at the center of development policies, especially in the rapidly evolving socio-economic context. Recommendations on goals and priorities for an action plan for economic, financial and social inclusion were also made.
"For APEC’s economic dynamic growth to sustain, it is time APEC continues to pay more attention to inclusion and act on it in a more practical, holistic and coordinated manner", Ambassador Bui Thanh Son stated in his final remarks. "It is time that APEC develops an APEC Action Agenda on promoting economic, financial inclusion and social inclusion with the overarching goal for APEC to achieve a more inclusive APEC community by 2030", he concluded.
The Symposium is an important initiative to implement the APEC 2016 Leaders Declaration. Its results will be reported to the Third APEC Senior Officials' Meeting to be held tomorrow.