Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam at APEC Ministerial Meeting

Nhan Dan Sep.11--Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam and some other Vietnamese senior officials attended the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum ministerial meeting, which was held on September 9-10 in Auckland, New Zealand to discuss issues of mutual concern in the APEC framework and to prepare for the seventh APEC summit.

Despite being a newcomer to the regional forum, the Vietnamese delegation took an active part in discussions. With regard to APEC members that have not joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Vietnam has suggested that APEC support bids by forum members to join the organisation in line with preferential conditions given to each specific country's level of development. The Vietnamese delegation also persistently raised the issue of APEC members being allowed to participate in all new negotiations that are to be launched at the upcoming WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle, the United States.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam stressed the importance of balancing the interests of different nation-groups during negotiations for the WTO membership, especially of developing countries like Vietnam.

After two days, the ministers approved the Joint Statement of the ministerial meeting and many other important documents.

On this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam had separate meetings with New Zealand Foreign Minister Don McKinnon, Trade Minister Lockwood Smith and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to discuss issues of mutual concern. During the meetings, these ministers highly valued Vietnam's role in the region and praised Vietnam's efforts in its renovation and international integration as well as efforts to overcome the negative impacts of the regional economic crisis. They affirmed that their countries wished to further strengthen multilateral and bilateral co-operative relations with Vietnam for mutual benefit, contributing to co-operation for peace in the region and in the world.