The Hanoitimes - APEC has laid the foundation for Vietnam to join bigger playgrounds with higher level of commitments, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other free trade agreements (FTAs), the government portal reported.
The participation of Vietnam in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) since 1998 has been strategic, according to Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh.
The move marks a milestone in implementing Vietnam’s open foreign policy towards multilateralism, diversification and global economic integration, Minh said at a conference summing up Vietnam’s 20-year membership in APEC on November 30, adding that it created motivation for reform and integration.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh. Source: VGP.
Over the past 20 years, Vietnam has attained significant achievements on socio-economic development, Minh stated. The country’s average GDP has increased from US$350 per capita in 1998 to nearly US$2,400 in 2018, thus becoming a middle-income country.
According to Minh, APEC has laid the foundation for Vietnam to join bigger playgrounds with higher level of commitments, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the next-generation Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Former Deputy PM Vu Khoan said the most important benefit for Vietnam in joining APEC has been its new status in the world, turning from an embattled and isolated country to the world’s one of the most open economy.
Additionally, APEC members have contributed over 70% to Vietnam’s trade and investments, in turn supporting strongly for Vietnam’s reform, Khoan added.
APEC membership has opened up opportunity for institutional reform and creating a new playground for Vietnamese enterprises.
On the other hand, Vietnam has actively involved and been a key player in facilitating regional and global cooperation. In APEC, Vietnam’s increasingly important role is reflected through hosting of APEC 2006 in Hanoi and APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Khoan continued.
At the meeting, representatives considered APEC’s active role essential in transforming the Asia-Pacific region into the world’s growth engine. However, APEC members now have to face numerous challenges, including the growing protectionism, trade friction and financial risks arising from the development of digital technologies.
Deputy PM Minh expected APEC to continue growing and cementing its role in preserving the multilateral world order. In this regard, APEC must maintain its core values, placing citizens and enterprises at the center, while enhancing the capability to become a leader in world economic governance.
Minh looked forward to Vietnam being proactive in APEC, in which in the next future of 15 – 20 years would be vital for Vietnam’s economic development and global integration.