MOIT VIETNAM | 22nd APEC Economic Minister Retreat Meeting

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22nd APEC Economic Minister Retreat Meeting

22nd May 2017 post by MOIT Vietnam

In framework of Asia –Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), 22nd Economic Minister Retreat Meeting took place in Arekipa, Peru on May 17th and 18th , 2016.

The Meeting was held to review implementation of the agreements reached in the Philippines in 2015 and to promote implement priority measures and initiatives of APEC 2016 to prepare for 24th APEC Summit to be held in Lima, Peru in November 2016.

Being as the second host-country for the event after 8 years, Peru proposed theme for APEC 2016 Meeting: Improving quality and development of human resource with 4 main priorities: (i) enhancing regional economic integration and economic growth; (ii) Strengthening regional foods market; (iii) Modernizing medium and small enterprises; and (iv) human resource development. To realize such theme and priorities, MRT 22 focused on discussion:(i) supporting multilateral trade system; (ii) promoting regional economic integration (REI) and (iii) modernizing medium, small enterprises and global value chains (GVCs), in particular, as follows:

Firstly, supporting multilateral trade system: at the meeting, WTO’s General Director Robeto Azevedo had brief on updated process of Doha negotiation round. Understanding  importance of Multilateral Trade System and Doha negotiation round, MRT 22 launched Declaration on Multilateral Trade System Support with the call to WTO members to keep efforts in implementing Bali and Nairobi commitment packages, extending validity of limiting protectionism measures and trade distortion measures to 2020, urging APEC members to ratify Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and Amended Protocol on TRIPS. Speaking at MRT 22, Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh emphasized Vietnam’s support to multilateral trade system and TFA ratification by Vietnam in December 2015, calling for agreement ratification by other members and actions to bring FTA into the force soon.

Secondly, with regards to regional economic integration (REI): MRT 22 had discussion on Common Strategy Research on Asia – Pacific Free Trade Area consisting of 9 chapters. MRT 22 approved draft of 8 chapters and had guidance on SOMs effort to complete Chapter 9 (Policy Recommendation) for submitting for approval by APEC 24 by end of 2016 in Lima.

MRT 22 reaffirmed achievement of Bogor goal as the first priority. Accordingly, Ministers had listened to the mid-term report on Borg 2016 goal implementation to define barriers to trade and investment in the region. Minister had guidance on SOM’s effort to complete mid-term report with recommendations to APEC Leaders in November. Minister also asked SOM to keep promoting APEC connecting schemes in all three poles: infrastructure, legislation and people connect, Action plan on supply chain connect and APEC Service Competition Improvement Roadmap to implement APEC Cooperation in Service approved by 23rd Summit in 2015.

Vietnam has been actively supporting APEC regional economic integration and together with Korea implementing CBNI initiatives at second phase including training courses on improving FTAs negotiation skill on environment, intellectual property right, government procurement, SPS and TBT…

Thirdly, regarding modernizing medium, small enterprises and GVCs: Taking into account importance of medium, small enterprises to economic development and social welfares, MRT 22 had discussion to figure out Boca Ray action plan to globalize medium and small enterprises. MRT 22 stressed on APEC’s ongoing support to medium, small enterprises to participate global chains. Ministers highly evaluated initiatives including those to support small and medium enterprises to participate in global value chains in pivotal industries and services. Vietnam has been actively taking part in the initiative “Promoting medium and small enterprises to participate in Apparel global value chains” and keeping active participation in other similar initiatives in the field of service.

At MRT 22, Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh had speech and invitation to APEC Ministers to MRT 23 to be held in Vietnam in 2017. A clip on country - people of Vietnam and achievements in economic and trade development was on display in the Meeting.

On the sideline of MRT 22, Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh attended working meetings of the Heads of Delegation and TPP Ministers’ Meeting.