08 November 2017, Da Nang, Viet Nam – Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies have convened in Da Nang to align their ideas for advancing Asia-Pacific integration and trade in the common pursuit of a sustained and inclusive recovery in a changing world.
Together, Ministers are working to build on progress achieved through cooperation in APEC, the world’s largest trading and growth corridor, to confront the rapid and complex developments in the globalized landscape that are having increasingly profound implications for people’s lives and livelihoods across the region.
“The fourth industrial revolution has created hopes for higher productivity but also anxiety about its transformative implications,” explained Viet Nam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Co-Chair of the APEC Ministerial Meeting. “International cooperation and integration endeavors continue to be enforced but threats posed by regional tensions, terrorism, inequality, natural disasters and cyber security are becoming more acute.”
“This past year has once again proved APEC’s incredible ability to adapt, transform and to lead,” continued Deputy Prime Minister Minh. “APEC continues to ensure that the Asia-Pacific remains an engine for global economic growth and integration for the benefit of our peoples and our businesses.”
Deputy Prime Minister Minh underscored the importance of greater action in APEC, whose economies account for half of global trade and 60 per cent world GDP, to build new, digitally enabled growth drivers. This includes expanding support for work forces so that they are equipped to thrive amid increasing automation, market competition and changing skills demand.
“We have set creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future as our aim,” Deputy Prime Minister Minh noted.
Ministers are exchanging views on next steps in APEC to deepen the integration of their economies, strengthen small business competitiveness, promote sustainable agriculture and food security, and boost innovative and inclusive growth.
The decisions they make will inform the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday.
“I hope that we will seize this last opportunity before our Leaders’ Meeting to show flexibility and willingness needed to bridge the remaining gaps, so that we can come out with a meaningful package for regional economic integration,” said Viet Nam Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh, Co-Chair of the APEC Ministerial Meeting.
“Given the rapid changes and uncertainties that the global economy is now facing, this will convey a strong message that reflects steadfastness and determination of APEC in pursuing a free and open region for trade and investment.”
Minister Anh pointed to the critical role APEC work to achieve this objective has played in transforming the region into a prosperous, secure and stable engine for the global economy.
“Our Meeting today will underline discussions on paving the way for new dynamism for growth, with a focus on sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth,” said Minister Anh. “I’m glad to see our hard work and joint efforts have led to a number of tangible initiatives to advance these growth attributes in a holistic manner, in response to newly emerged tendencies for the sake of our people,” he concluded.
The meeting will continue tomorrow.