Policy cooperation to reinvigorate trade and economic growth among the 21 APEC member economies in 2017 will focus on improving adaptation to change in a globalized world, the group’s incoming Chair, Viet Nam, announced at the conclusion of a key planning meeting in Ha Noi on Friday.
Four priorities to be advanced by APEC members over the coming year, under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future,” were agreed upon following consultations between their Senior Officials. They also draw on inputs shared here by the private sector, policy researchers and international development organizations.
“In a globalized world of profound changes, APEC needs to assume greater responsibility as an incubator and driver for economic growth and integration,” explained Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. “The opportunity to galvanize APEC cooperation that benefits all has never been greater.”
“After three decades of renovation, Viet Nam today is in a better position to make more meaningful contributions to APEC and to bring tangible benefits to businesses and people across the region,” Deputy Prime Minister Pham added.
To this end, APEC’s 2017 POLICY PRIORITIES will include:
•Promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth
Structural reform will be high on APEC’s agenda to boost productivity, innovation, and equitable and fair development. Mitigating against economic and financial volatility and the increasing threat of natural disasters and pandemics will be an additional emphasis.
•Fostering far-reaching regional integration and connectivity
Collaboration will center on revitalizing trade and investment via work on next generation issues that can open up the benefits to more people. Parallel work will address existing and ongoing regional trade arrangements as well as strengthen infrastructure financing and development.
•Supporting small business competiveness, innovation and participation in trade
Efforts will include building on APEC’s Ease of Doing Business initiative, with a focus on start-ups and women-led firms. They will also leverage the region’s large, fast-growing internet user base to drive digital infrastructure and small business internationalization.
•Enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change
Work will facilitate the transfer and application of new technologies to lift agricultural productivity, quality and sustainability. Improving resource management, upskilling of farmers, financing and market access, and trade and investment within the sector will be an additional focus.
“The ideas and initiatives our economies will take forward in 2017 can help to ensure that the Asia-Pacific remains a driver of growth and rising living standards,” said Bui Thanh Son, Viet Nam’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and 2017 Chair of APEC Senior Officials. “It can also provide global leadership in today’s immensely challenging environment,” he concluded.
Technical officials will convene in Nha Trang, Viet Nam from 18 February 2017 to proceed with implementation work, culminating with the First APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting on 2-3 March to decide the next steps.