The 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia on September 8-9 achieved many results and key agreements, creating a new momentum for regional cooperation and connectivity.
Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the remark while granting an interview to the Vietnamese press on September 9, right after the meeting of the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum wrapped up.
In the context of slowing regional and international economic recovery and increasingly severe global challenges, the summit discussed a wide range of important issues and adopted a joint statement of APEC leaders themed “ Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper”, he said.
The above-said important results have created the hallmark of the Vladivostok summit, affirming once again the great cooperation potential as well as the position of the APEC forum in particular and the Asia-Pacific region in general, he added.
Regarding Vietnam’s contributions to Asia-Pacific cooperation frameworks, Minh said that the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation led by President Truong Tan Sang actively participated in the summit’s activities and closely coordinated with host Russia and other APEC member economies, contributing to the success of the event.
Notably, President Sang and the Japanese Prime Minister were invited to deliver the keynote speeches at an important discussion of the summit on food security and innovative growth.
Sang and the Chilean President were also invited to co-chair an exchange with the region’s leading groups themed “Water – a new global strategic resource” at the 2012 APEC CEO summit.
According to Minister Minh, Vietnam, as a nation that is closely connected with the water rice civilisation and is now one of the main food suppliers in the world, shared its experience in coping with global challenges relating to food security and water resource protection.
Vietnam proposed that agricultural development and food security be considered an important content of the renewal process and national development strategy, he said.
The summit shared Vietnam’s proposal on the need to have a multi-sectoral and overall approach to food security and closely link it with efforts to realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), cope with climate change and boost the sustainable exploitation, use and management of resources, including water, oceans and marine resources, he added.
Minh said the Vietnamese delegation also suggested many measures to strengthen regional economic connectivity and reliable supply chain as well as promoting innovative growth with a focus on cooperation in dealing with natural disasters, maritime safety and security, and search and rescue at sea.
“We asked APEC to increase its coordination with other linkage mechanisms in the region and support ASEAN sub-regional cooperation and connectivity,” he said.
According to the diplomat, APEC members highly valued and voiced their support for Vietnam’s bid to host the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 2017, the year marking Vietnam’s 20-year membership and the 25 th summit of APEC.
Vietnam is actively preparing for the hosting of a ministerial meeting on human resource development in 2014, which is one of APEC’s current cooperation priorities, he added.
Those contributions vividly reflected the active, proactive and responsible role of Vietnam in fostering the regional connectivity, Minh stressed.
Regarding the results of President Sang’s bilateral activities during the event, the minister said that the President and his entourage had bilateral meetings with many heads of states and leaders of APEC economies, including the Presidents of Russia, China, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Chile as well as the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Australia.
At the meetings, the APEC leaders spoke highly of Vietnam ’s efforts in macroeconomic stabilisation, economic restructuring and comprehensive international integration and agreed to expand multi-faceted cooperation and deepen partnerships with Vietnam , he said.
The leaders of Vietnam and other APEC members emphasised the need to increase high-ranking meetings, consolidate mutual trust, enhance ASEAN solidarity and the central role of ASEAN and step up coordination within APEC and other multilateral frameworks.
The parties agreed to boost joint efforts to address all differences through peaceful dialogue and on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual benefit and respect for international law, he said.
In summary, the Vietnamese delegation’s practical contributions to the APEC summit and bilateral activities have deepened Vietnam’s relations with important partners, helping consolidate the country’s security environment and national development as well as improving its position and image, Minh concluded.