Full Remarks by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at 28th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

10:01:55 AM | 11/17/2021

Below is the full remarks by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at 28th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held virtually on November 12.


The Right Honorable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, the host of APEC 2021,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I'm happy to once again meet my close friends of many years today.

I wish to congratulate you, Madam Prime Minister, upon your strong and innovative leadership throughout the 2021 APEC year. I also applaud New Zealand's efforts and the remarkable deliverables that fellow APEC member economies have achieved in our concerted efforts to overcome numerous unprecedented challenges and adversities. I highly value this second Meeting of APEC 2021, as it gives us a chance to discuss the critical and urgent topic, namely APEC cooperation to promote post-COVID-19 economic recovery. I echo the view of many other APEC colleagues.

2. The fierce and painstaking battle against COVID-19 over the last two years, and the far-reaching and multidimensional changes to our economies, societies and people’s life compel us to rethink and reassess various regional and global issues. Notable of which are the interdependence and interconnection among economies, the vulnerability and lack of preparedness in the face of diseases and climate change, the shortcomings of the global governance system in handling crises, and the inequality within and between economies.

To bring our economies back to a sustainable development trajectory, we should come up with new concepts and ideas based on the harmonization of economic, environmental and social factors, and the balance of interests of all parties concerned. This is a crucial moment that requires all APEC member economies to set aside our differences to “think and act together” for the interest of each member and the community at large.

Ladies and gentlemen,

3. History has shown us that, with each and every crisis encountered, APEC has showcased its increasing role and cohesion. More than ever before, in this time of hardship and through its internal strength and collaboration among economies, APEC should maintain its position as a driver for global economic growth and an incubator for innovative ideas and new developmental trends.

At the same time, APEC needs to proactively expand economic connectivity in sustainable recovery and growth, promote its leading role in shaping the post-pandemic global economy, and contribute to reinforcing global economic governance in ways that ensure efficiency, fairness and transparency.

4. Accordingly, I would like to underline three priority areas for APEC as follows:

First, we need to contain the pandemic in order to build a safe and healthy Asia-Pacific. This is the prerequisite for stability and sustainable economic recovery. We need to work together to reinforce and innovate our healthcare infrastructure to ensure vaccine access, technology research and production of vaccines, treatment drugs and medical equipment. At the same time, we should improve the community healthcare system and preparedness to respond to future public health challenges.

Second, we should work to develop a dynamic, innovative, integrated and well-interconnected Asia-Pacific economy. We also need to consolidate an open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system, and uphold the role of the WTO.

In the “new normal”, APEC member economies are in need of the Forum’s support in connecting and sustaining regional supply chains, along with keeping borders and sea lanes open for safe and smooth flow of goods and people. In this connection, I call on APEC to promptly develop a “Guideline and Best Practices for Resuming Travel Among Economies while Ensuring Safe Pandemic Control.”

To bring into full play our internal strength, we need to realize the Bogor Goals, Putrajaya Vision and APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap. We should also promote the transition to a digital economy, and work towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). It is also important to advance APEC cooperation programs for fostering structural reform, science, technology and innovation, digital transformation, and business environment, and for training a highly-skilled workforce as a new engine for growth.

Third, we need to establish a green and inclusive growth model for the Asia-Pacific.

Economic recovery provides us with an opportunity to extensively transform the growth model, with a view to “greening” the economy, sustainably adapting to shocks, and placing the people and businesses at the center so as to leave no one behind.

On that note, I call on APEC to expand cooperation in realizing the circular economy model, developing sustainable infrastructure, enhancing climate change readiness, ensuring energy, water and food security, and managing natural disasters. It is also essential to accelerate the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth, enhance capacity for Potential Economic Groups, such as ethnic minorities and communities in remote areas, and assist the SMEs.

Bearing this in mind, I support the adoption of the Aotearoa Plan of Action, with clear targets and concrete actions. Viet Nam will join hands with Thailand and other members to make APEC2022 a great success.

Ladies and gentlemen,

5. After nearly 23 years of its accession to APEC, Viet Nam today has a population of nearly 100 million, and a highly open economy that enjoys active integration and rapid growth. Building upon its internal strength, Viet Nam is stepping up international cooperation in economic recovery, sustainable and inclusive development, and making meaningful contributions to addressing common challenges.

Viet Nam will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with APEC member economies to realize a vision for an open, peaceful, dynamic and resilient Asia-Pacific, for the prosperity of present and future generations.

Thank you very much.

Source: NDO/VNA