A commentary on APEC 2017 provided by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO)
The significance of APEC to Vietnam
Vietnam’s hosting of APEC 2017 was an important opportunity to highlight the spirit and intellectual capacity of Vietnam’s diplomacy, particularly multi-lateral diplomacy in the comprehensive integration of the country. The hosting previously by Vietnam of APEC 2006 had boosted Vietnam’s presence in various international fora, and its hosting of the 2017 event has put it even more firmly in the spotlight.
Since the beginning of 2017, the country has effectively organized over 200 related activities at all levels, with the participation of more than 9,000 international and domestic delegates. This has created an excellent impression in the hearts of international and regional friends regarding Vietnam’s huge potential and proactive international integration.
As far back as 1989, the APEC regional forum had become an important driving force for Vietnam, and had significantly supported the country’s economic reform, promoted its trade, investment, tourism, and helped to connect its economy to the rest of the world.
Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future
The Asia-Pacific region is entering a new phase of development with huge opportunities as well as challenges in the area of international economic growth. In that context, the theme of APEC 2017, “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” and other initiatives proposed by Vietnam have received active support from the forum’s member nations.
Recognising the significant challenges the region’s economies face, APEC leaders pledged to work together to take the following actions according to the Da Nang Declaration: Promoting innovative growth, inclusion and sustainable employment; Creating new drivers for regional economic integration; Strengthening capacity and innovation of small and medium-sized enterprises; Enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change; Fostering a shared future.
The success of APEC 2017 will certainly further enhance Vietnam’s leading role at the coming ASEAN summit, and also its ASEAN chairmanship in 2020. With a new economic status after more than 30 years of Doi Moi (Renewal), Vietnam placed great emphasis on successfully organising the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week, in addition to the 25th APEC Summit itself. Through these efforts, Vietnam has demonstrated its support for synchronised and comprehensive reforms, as well as for proactive and active international integration, whilst reaffirming itself as a reliable partner and a responsible member of the international community.