SMEs growth a key topic at third ABAC meeting

Speaking to reporters prior to SOM I, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan said the National Committee for APEC 2006 asked ministries, sectors and localities to make thorough preparations to make SOM I a success. During the first working day of SOM I, a series of meetings and seminars were held, including a meeting of the Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), a dialogue of the Joint Advisory Committee for Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Conformity Assessment for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (JAC EEMRA), a meeting of the Investment Experts’ Group (IEG), the Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF), a dialogue the of Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSF) and a symposium on Information Privacy Protection in E-Government and E-commerce. These conferences will run until March 2 before the SOM 1 conference officially opens. Many forums immediately obtained good results. The Life Sciences Innovation Forum reached a consensus on measures to implement seven key issues, particularly co-operation in combating infectious diseases such as bird flu, trafficking and the production of fake medicine. Members of the Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) discussed measures to streamline the customs procedures of APEC economies. One solution agreed to by APEC members was the implementation of non-paper commerce for developed members in 2005 and for developing members by 2010. At the symposium on Information Privacy Protection in E-Government and E-commerce, participants shared experiences in building action plans for APEC-member economies to realise a common privacy policy and legal framework, as well as technical support, which were…... [read more]

Joining APEC is considered an important significant event in Vietnam’s international integration process. The country has progressed from its admission to the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995 to its active participation in inter-regional cooperation frameworks in Asia and the Pacific. It has won international acclaim for its rising position, both economically and politically. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam, who had made significant contributions to Vietnam’s admission to ASEAN, recalled, “Although the Vietnamese economy is less developed than other economies, there is no denying Vietnam’s rising position and prospects in the development process.”Over the past eight years, through APEC, Vietnam has received strong support from world economic powers and has finally concluded its WTO negotiation process. Former State President Tran Duc Luong said at the recent APEC forums and meetings that Vietnam desired to join the world’s largest trade body and that its proposal had received favourable support from APEC member economies. He recalled his talks with the heads of state during the latest two APEC meetings and said they all pledged support for Vietnam’s bid – a positive move towards the country’s WTO accession later. APEC is the only inter governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. Unlike the WTO or other multilateral trade bodies, APEC has no treaty obligations required by its participants. Its decisions are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on…... [read more]

The agenda of the week is packed with a series of events, including at least 17 special important meetings from the APEC Ministerial Meeting to the APEC CEO Summit, the Dialogue between APEC leaders and the APEC Business Advisory Council and, most important, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 18-19. Worthy of note are the five official visits to Vietnam by the heads of state of China, the US, Japan, Russia and Chile. About 1,500 foreign media workers are turning the spotlight on APEC 14 to cover this important political and economic event in detail as the hosting of APEC 14 has become all the more significant after Vietnam was admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). To host such a very important political event, Vietnam has experienced numerous challenges and difficulties on all fronts. Above all, the successful organisation of the APEC Ministerial Meetings and APEC Senior Officials’ Meetings early this year proved that Vietnam was capable of organising and managing important international events in the lead up to the 14th APEC Week. As the host, Vietnam recently put forward many initiatives and recommendations to boost cooperation among APEC member economies in a deeper and more efficient manner. Many delegates who attended APEC-related meetings this year highly valued Vietnam’s initiatives included in the Hanoi Action Plan to implement the Busan Roadmap towards Bogor Goal, as well as in other areas. What’s more important is the ebullient atmosphere prevailing over the country to welcome the event. A foreign news…... [read more]

In the first week of November, Vietnam signed a protocol on its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva after more than 11 years of negotiations. In the second week, Asian countries agreed to nominate Vietnam as the only Asian candidate for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term. In the third week, Vietnam successfully organised the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, leaving a good impression on international friends. The last week saw the successful organisation of the 10th session of the 11th National Assembly to decide on many national important issues. Vietnam’s admission to the WTO marked a new step in its process of integrating ever more deeply into the world economy. This was an important socio-political and economic event affirming Vietnam’s role and position in the international arena as well as opening up great opportunities for the country to expand export markets for commodities and services, cooperate with new partners, attract more foreign direct investment, speed up economic restructuring and create a favourable legal basis for settling trade disputes to serve national industrialisation and modernisation. However, Vietnam will face numerous challenges. Economic competition will become fiercer, even on a larger scale, to put stronger pressure on enterprises, particularly those which rely on State subsidy. If proper policies and solutions are hard to come by, there will be a high risk of bankruptcy among a segment of businesses, compulsory redundancy and wide division between rich and poor. To be sure, deeper economic integration…... [read more]

The public in the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world highly valued the results of the meeting and other important events held during the APEC Week, considering them the prerequisites for APEC to develop stronger, more dynamically and efficiently. In the spirit of openness, friendliness and mutual understanding, leaders of the 21 APEC member economies had discussions and dialogues on the APEC process. Particularly, during the two-day meeting, they spent much time discussing the two main topics: (1) Promoting trade and investment in a changing world, and, (2) Fundamentals ensuring dynamism, growth and sustainable development in APEC. For the first topic, they focused their discussions on the Doha Round of negotiations, regional trade agreements and free trade agreements (RTAs/FTAs), the Hanoi Action Plan to implement the Busan Roadmap, and measures to achieve the Bogor Goals. For the second topic, they touched upon issues relating to human security, technical and economic cooperation and APEC reform. In this spirit, APEC leaders reached a high consensus on measures to achieve the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalisation, take urgent action to resume the Doha round, and carry out the APEC reform package to make APEC’s economic, trade and investment activities more efficient and dynamic for sustainable development and prosperity. The results from the meeting were reflected in the three important documents adopted by APEC leaders, namely the Hanoi Declaration, the Hanoi Action Plan to implement the Busan Roadmap towards the Bogor Goals, and the APEC Reform Package. In the Hanoi…... [read more]

Under the theme of “Towards a dynamic community for sustainable development and prosperity”, the APEC Summit 2006, Vietnam’s most important diplomatic event this year, is expected to mark the beginning a new period of building an economic community in the Asia-Pacific region. From barely 12 members in 1989, the grouping now boasts 21 members, most of them being members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Of the total, three are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and four belong to the group of the world’s leading industrialised countries. Over recent years, APEC has emerged as a dynamic economic region in the world, making up nearly 50 percent of total global trade, 60 percent of global GDP and 40 percent of the population. Its operations are based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, consensus and voluntarism. At a meeting in Indonesia in 1994, APEC economic leaders set a target of building a free, open trade and investment area in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010 for developed economies, and by 2020 for developing economies due to different levels of development and interest. At the 13th APEC Meeting in the Republic of Korea in 2005, APEC economic leaders adopted the Busan Roadmap to achieve the Bogor Goals.Despite the impact of fluctuations in the oil market last year, APEC still secured an economic growth rate higher than the global level. This proved that the Bogor Goals for a free, open trade and investment area have become a driving force behind the…... [read more]

The 15th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will be held in Sydney, Australia from September 8-9.However,the 19th annual APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) entitled“ Strengthening our Community: Building a Sustainable Future” opened on September 6 with a focus on climate change and clean energy development; support for a multi-lateral trade system and the WTO; regional economic integration; security and the reform and expansion of APEC. Energy security and climate change are the main focus of the summit. In the host country’s opinion on climate change, APEC member economies should take the lead in cutting down greenhouse gases. Annually, the world releases 24 billion tonnes of CO2 of which the highest levels come from the US with 5.8 billion tonnes, equivalent to 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. The CO2 emissions have resulted in major climate changes, causing natural disasters to humankind. The fight against climate change will succeed unless the countries with the highest level of greenhouse gases pledgeto reduce CO2. Australia hopes that at the 15th APEC Summit, leaders of the member economies will reach a consensus on a greenhouse gas limit which should be agreed by developed countries. APEC leaders hope that this result will usher in a new period of clean energy development and will provide a basis for the UN Conference on Climate Change to be held in Bali, Indonesia to achieve great success. In terms of econoimc integration, a proposal for building the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) is one of…... [read more]

Every year, leaders from the 21 APEC member economies sit together to discuss issues, which have great influence on the future of not only APEC but also the world at large. This year, besides traditional topics such as trade liberalisation, Doha round of talks, anti-terrorism, and prevention of natural disasters and epidemics, the host country, Australia, proposed climate change, energy security and clean development as the main topics of the summit. These are sensitive issues as several APEC member economies such as the US and China produce the largest amount of greenhouse gas, but are not ready to sign the Kyoto Protocol. However, APEC leaders reached a common voice by releasing the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development with specific objectives and plans of action. This success bore the stamp of the host country. Another breakthrough of the summit was that APEC leaders adopted a separate joint statement on the Doha round of talks, which has been at a deadlock due to agricultural subsidies of developed countries. This time, they showed their resolve to conclude the round by the end of this year. The success of the forum was attributed to the significant contributions by Australia and other member economies, including Vietnam. To further develop its role and prestige after successfully organising the 14th APEC summit, Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet joined all sessions of the 15th APEC summit and made important contributions to the success of the forum. While APEC member economies have different…... [read more]

Mr Khiem, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the remark in a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency. He said that through meetings and high-level contacts, APEC has become an important channel for Vietnam to boost its ties with other regional economies and that cooperation within the 21-member forum has also helped enhance the nation’s image and position in the region. “Vietnam’s admission to APEC marked an important milestone during the course of implementation of the Party’s and the State’s foreign policy of openness, multilateralisation, diversification and integration into the world economy,” Mr Khiem said. According to the Deputy PM, since Vietnam became APEC’s official member in November 1998, the nation has made marked contributions to the forum. Vietnam has fully and responsibly participated in APEC cooperation programmes and actively joined other member economies in new areas of cooperation, such as human security, health care, education and tourism alongside traditional trade activities, he added. By sharing experiences and information, particularly with developing member economies, Vietnam has efficiently contributed to a number of areas of cooperation between APEC members, including fisheries, agriculture and the prevention of bird flu and other epidemics, the deputy PM said. The Southeast Asian nation has also participated in APEC committees for trade, investment and economics as well as its working groups regarding business travel, small- and medium-sized enterprises, health care, fight against terrorism, emergency preparedness and response. “One of Vietnam’s prominent and practical contributions to the forum was its successful organisation of…... [read more]

“The hosting is of more significance as it takes place at a time when Vietnam is making every effort to accelerate negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation,” said Mr Khoan at a ceremony in Hanoi on January 25 to launch the National Committee on APEC 2006. The committee is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, with two deputy heads: Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen. It comprises five sub-committees on the content, security, reception, communications and logistics. Mr Khoan said 2006 is an important year for future of APEC, as it marks the first year of implementing the Busan Roadmap to realise the Bogor Goal on trade and investment liberalisation. He stressed the need for APEC reforms to increase the efficiency of its operations, and confirmed the bloc’s important role in regional and global economic development amidst unexpected global fluctuations and difficulties in trade negotiations. Mr Khoan noted that since Vietnam joined the bloc more than seven years ago, the country has actively participated in all APEC co-operation areas, thus facilitating trade and investment, as well as economic and technological co-operation within the bloc. The hosting of the APEC summit in Hanoi will continue to develop the fruits of the APEC co-operation process, with the aim of building a dynamic community for sustainable development and prosperity, he said. “With the presence of thousands of delegates and more than 100 events to be held during the year, the hosting will be a great challenge…... [read more]

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