SOM 3–APEC: from initiatives to implementation

The Third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 3) and related meetings has wrapped up in Ho Chi Minh City, reaffirming the consensus of 21 participating members to continue commitments on bringing practical and specific benefits for every economy, every community, and every enterprise under the aegis of the APEC.

RELATED CONTENTS:
APEC commits to trade and investment liberalisation
Inclusion needed for sustainable growth
Increasing gains from RTAs/FTAs in APEC becoming key
Achieving sustainable food security
APEC officials debate freer trade
APEC Food Security Week wraps up in Can Tho
APEC discusses experiences in simplifying business registration
APEC seeks to foster e-commerce
APEC climate information is of ‘good quality’

 

APEC participants shared their experiences across a variety of areas, outlining work for the High Level Week held in November (Photos: APEC 2017.vn)

Commenting on the outcome of the SOM 3 conference and related meetings, Dr Alan Bollard, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, said that Vietnam played a major role in hosting APEC this year, featuring a series of professional events of high quality.

"Vietnam has shared with and received some ideas and initiatives from other economies. These issues will be discussed and approved by the leaders at the APEC Summit in Danang in November,” Bollard said.

Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat (Source: APEC2017.vn)

To bring initiatives and plans closer to reality, APEC participants shared experiences in traditional areas, such as ensuring food security and dealing with climate change, as well as new issues, such as the industrial revolution 4.0 and its impact on specific member economies.

Bui Thanh Son, Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of SOM APEC 2017 (Source: APEC2017.vn)

In particular, according to Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son, Vietnam has also cooperated with Japan to develop the documentation of APEC Technology Support Regulations to promote supporting industries in the region.

"These results will directly correspond to the interests of the members, businesses, and people in the region and also meet the socioeconomic development needs of Vietnam, including sustainable development," emphasised Son.

Vietnam’s initiative to hold the APEC’s Overview Forum on Economy, Finance and Society—a milestone initiative promoting regional development—has been supported and lauded by international organisations.

Son said that this was the first time that APEC has organised a forum to address development issues covering all three economic, financial, and social fields, aiming to have closer coordination among APEC committees and working groups.

SOM 3 also affirmed its commitment to promoting regional trade and investment liberalisation through the implementation of the Bogor Goals by 2020, and discussing the next steps to prepare for building a vision for APEC after 2020.

"Strengthening cooperation continues to be an important motivation for regional growth. However, in order to intensify the results of FTAs ​​and RTAs, members must continue sharing experiences and improving capacities for members, especially developing members. Many capacity building activities on this issue were organised during these occasions," Son said.

Hoang Van Dung, chairman of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), said that APEC businesses have taken advantage of opportunities to overcome challenges in the digital era. At the ABAC held in Toronto (Canada) in this July, a report outlining 20 major recommendations of regional enterprises was addressed by leaders of member countries, focusing on policies on science, technology, and socioeconomic development—areas all related to the development of enterprises.

Hoang Van Dung, chairman of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) (Source: APEC2017.vn)

“The development of small- and medium-sized enterprises is very important in Vietnam, where 95 per cent of businesses belong in this category. Vietnamese enterprises are facing huge global competition pressure, especially when joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the APEC, the WTO, and others," Dung said.

 

By Bich Ngoc