Vietnam contributes initiatives to APEC Agenda

Nov. 13 (VNA) -- All three initiatives of Viet Nam have been included in the agenda of the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on Nov. 12 and 13.

The country is being represented by a delegation led by Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien at the meeting of foreign and economic ministers from 21 APEC member countries.

Viet Nam has put forward an initiative on raising APEC's capacity in implementation of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and supporting APEC member countries that have not been WTO members to join WTO. The country has also suggested an economic and technical cooperation in order to narrow the development gap between APEC member countries, to boost education and training in developing countries, especially training young people in the knowledge-led economy. Besides, Viet Nam has an initiative to take measures to eradicate hunger and alleviate poverty in rural areas of developing member countries for a sustainable development in the region.

Nov. 13 (VNA) -- As the 21st official member of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum since November, 1998, Viet Nam has proved its active and effective role at the multilateral forum.

For Viet Nam, gaining APEC's membership has offered it an opportunity to get inter-regional cooperation in economic development and science and technology and to integrate into regional and global economy.

Viet Nam has made efforts to take part in APEC's Collective Action Plans (CAPs), including those on customs procedure, quality standardization and tourism. In its Individual Action Plan (IAP), Viet Nam has broadened its commitment to 11 of 15 sectors, including investment, taxation, customs and business environment improvement.

In participating in APEC summits, senior official meetings, ministerial meetings, and working groups' meetings, Viet Nam has contributed many initiatives, including a project to increase the participation of APEC developing member countries in mutual recognition agreements which has been approved by APEC with a fund of USD 138,000. Its suggestions for cooperation in implementation of CAPs relating to customs procedure, standardization and e-commerce have been passed at senior official meetings. Its initiative on "Education for young generations towards knowledge-led economy" has received other member countries' support to be developed into a project. Viet Nam is also one of six APEC member countries having built an invisible information network named APEC VC VIETNAM NODE, providing information on environment of Viet Nam and other APEC member countries.

Viet Nam's participation in APEC activities has helped raise its position and get more assistance from other countries. Viet Nam has been listed to receive Japan's technical assistance under a programme to assist APEC's developing countries in implementing WTO agreements. The country has also received Australia's technical assistance in customs procedures, and in detecting false travel passes.

Joining APEC has created an opportunity for Viet Nam to expand cooperation in economic development, trade and investment and to exchange its views on issues relating to bilateral relations. APEC member countries are Viet Nam's major trading and investment partners, making up 80 percent of foreign trade turnover and 75 percent of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital and a major source of official development assistance (ODA) capital.

The eighth APEC Summit to be convened in Brunei on Nov. 15 and 16 will be another chance for Viet Nam to contribute its efforts to the regional development and to accelerate its integration and development. Due to a low level of competitiveness of its economy, Viet Nam now is focusing on developing economic and technical cooperation and creating more favourable considitions for trade and investment in expanding its relations with other countries in and outside APEC.

Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien is joining 20 foreign and trade ministers of APEC member countries in the 12th APEC ministerial meeting in Brunei on Nov. 12 and 13. They will then attend a meeting of the APEC consultancy council.