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Deputy PM, FM Minh's remarks at 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting

VGP - The following is full remarks by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the 31st APEC Ministerial Meeting held virtually on November 16.

11/17/2020 09:04

Mr. Chair,

Distinguished Colleagues,

1.  I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Malaysia for your able leadership in successfully guiding APEC through this challenging year.     

2. Reflecting on a quarter of a century ago when the Bogor Goals were adopted,
we are here today at another historic moment for APEC and the region.

The phenomenal development that transformed the Asia-Pacific into the world’s most dynamic and innovative region is being tested by the once-in-a-century crisis with extraordinary scale and complexity. The strength of regional recovery remains uneven and uncertain. 

Geopolitical conflicts, pressing global challenges including climate change and extreme natural catastrophes are complicating efforts for achieving our common goal of prosperity and well-being for all our people.

Three decades on from its inception, APEC finds itself at a transformative juncture as we embark on a new chapter against an emerging regional architecture and changing economic realities.

3. I share many views and suggestions of my fellow colleagues, and would like to add three points.

First, the pandemic has once again highlighted our interdependence. The pandemic and its impacts can only be overcome by collective multilateral actions.

Therefore, more than ever, APEC members should uphold the spirit of unity and responsibility, make constructive contributions so as our region could rapidly rise above the challenges of the pandemic and take lead in recovery.

APEC must continue to champion for free and open trade and investment, deeper regional economic integration and people-centered economic growth.

APEC shall also be at the forefront to promote an open, rules-based and
well-functioning multilateral trading system by supporting crucial reforms of the WTO
to ensure the system’s ability to adapt to revolutionalised technology and new groundbreaking economic and business models.

It is this spirit of cohesive and responsive that enabled ASEAN to overcome immense challenges of this past year and keep forging ahead.

Second, The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many of our weaknesses, in our health system, but also our economic and social development paths.

It is imperative to refocus our priority on efforts to further advance seamless connectivity, sustainable supply chains, structural reforms, digital economy for inclusive economic recovery and resilience to future shocks and crises.

I take this opportunity to commend APEC’s efforts in maintaining the momentum of regional economic cooperation.

Initiatives on supporting equitable access to vaccines, facilitating the movement of essential goods, establishing an APEC digital platform on COVID-19, strengthening women’s economic empowerment, considering APEC sub-fund on COVID-19, among others, are valuable contributions to global efforts in this endeavor.

Third, Viet Nam fully supports the adoption of the APEC Leaders’ Declaration on the Post-2020 Vision that charts the future of our region.

With such an ambitious and action-oriented vision, we continue to strategically position APEC as the premier forum for regional economic cooperation and a key driver for building a peaceful, connected, resilient and innovative Asia-Pacific community.

We appreciate the work done by the APEC Vision Group, PECC, ABAC and all APEC members in this effort. 

Distinguished Colleagues,

Multilateral cooperation holds a special place in Viet Nam’s foreign policy.

As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and ASEAN Chair this year, Viet Nam has made every effort together with the international community to strengthen and revitalise multilateral cooperation, including APEC.

We are committed to working together with all APEC members to fulfill two crucial responsibilities ahead of us: to fight the crisis today and to build a better tomorrow.

            I thank you for your attention.