Vietnam supports multilateral trade at APEC meeting
duonghanhnguyen 17-11-2020, 10:29
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum should continue taking the lead in promoting free and open trade and investment while strengthening regional economic connectivity and boosting people-centred economic growth.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh voiced Vietnam’s strong support for multilateral trade globally. (Photo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the statement at the 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting that was virtually held on November 16.

Minh said APEC needs to play its leading role in promoting an open, rules-based multilateral trading system that works effectively alongside the reform of the World Trade Organization, to ensure adaptability of the multilateral trading system in the face of the strong development of science and technology as well as a profound transformation of economic and business models.

He noted that the COVID – 19 pandemic has made an enormous impact on all economies globally which further shows the interdependence of the economies. He called on APEC members to uphold the spirit of solidarity and responsibility to join hands and make a practical contribution so that the Asia-Pacific will soon overcome current challenges and continue to lead the global economic recovery.

The Deputy Prime Minister cited ASEAN’s experience in 2020, saying the spirit of cohesion and proactive adaptation has helped the bloc steadily weather the COVID-19 crisis and move forward.

He expressed his belief that with a new ambitious and actionable vision to be endorsed by APEC leaders in the next few days, APEC will continue to assert its role as a leading economic cooperation mechanism in the region and an important driving force in building a peaceful, connected, resilient and creative Asia-Pacific community.

At the event, Vietnam brought forward a number proposals to coordinate disease control and economic recovery efforts, strengthen connectivity, ensure the sustainability of supply chains and structural reforms, and develop the digital economy aimed at maintaining the region’s economic recovery and enhancing its resilience in the face of future crises and shocks.

As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam will work closely together with the international community to promote and liven up multilateral cooperation, including APEC cooperation, Minh stressed.

The 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting endorsed a joint statement, affirming 21 APEC members’ strong resolve to join hands in building a resilient Asia-Pacific community.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Malaysia has played host to APEC meetings starting from December 2019 until November 2020. This is the second time Malaysia has hosted these meetings following the first time back in 1998.