Opening Remarks by President of Viet Nam H.E. Tran Dai Quang at the Opening Session of APEC CEO Summit

APEC 2017: Chủ tịch nước Trần Đại Quang dự khai mạc Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh Doanh nghiệp APEC 2017
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(08 November 2017, Da Nang, Viet Nam)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the State and people of Viet Nam, I have the great pleasure to warmly welcome you all to the APEC CEO Summit 2017 in the coastal city of Da Nang, a leading economic development hub in the Central Viet Nam. This is the biggest event of this kind for the regional business community as it is attended by leaders of APEC member economies, representatives of international organizations and over 2,000 leading businesses. Your overwhelming participation here today demonstrates your responsibility and commitment to join hands in building an ever more prosperous Asia-Pacific. With the theme  “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” and a rich and substantive agenda, I am convinced that the Summit will open up great opportunities for cooperation and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Throughout nearly 3 decades of evolution, APEC has not only witnessed turning-point changes of the world but also been part of these changes. As a premier regional economic forum, APEC has recorded many important achievements in economic and social development, and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It has become the most effective economic cooperation mechanism in promoting the role of businesses and transforming the Asia-Pacific region into a driver of global growth and integration as well as the incubator of new ideas for the future. These achievements were not possible without crucial contributions from the Asia-Pacific business community that you represent.

Thanks to the essential contributions of the businesses, from the world leading enterprises to the MSMEs and woman-led businesses, the Asia-Pacific has become a driver of economic growth, and the hub of investment, science and technology, contributing to nearly 50% of the global investment, trade and almost 60% of GDP.  The APEC business community also plays a pioneering role in the development of new technology and energy industries, business cooperation, and next-generation trade and investment issues, bringing about greater resources to better meet the people’s material and cultural needs.

On behalf of the APEC Economic Leaders, I salute and deeply thank Asia-Pacific businesses for their immense contributions to the APEC economies over nearly three decades.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are living in a rapidly changing world characterized by fundamental shifts. Peace, cooperation and development remain the prevailing trend, yet we are still confronted with many serious difficulties and challenges. Nearly 10 years has elapsed since the global economic and financial crisis. Economic recovery has become firmer, but there remain potential mid-term and long-term risks. Given the deepening globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the benefits of growth and technological development have not been equally distributed. Hundreds of millions of people in our region still live in poverty with unprecedented impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

Yet, our region is blessed with vast potentials in economics, culture, history, natural resources, particularly human resources. Hence, we have every reason to believe in a bright regional outlook. Our region is home to more than half of the world’s top 20 economies and is expected to account for 70% of the world’s GDP by 2050.  With the determination of the business community and member economies, APEC can reach higher and go further, bringing about greater prosperity to the people in the region and materializing the prediction that the 21st century is “the Asia-Pacific Century”.

During the past years, particularly over nearly a year of the APEC 2017, Viet Nam has worked with other member economies to develop and implement a wide range of meaningful cooperation programs and activities for the people and businesses on human resource development in the digital age, development of MSMEs, cross-border e-commerce facilitation, promotion of internet and digital economy and financial, economic and social inclusion. Our overarching goal is to promote people – and  business-centered development.

For APEC to remain the champion of regional economic integration, we hope that the Asia-Pacific business community will continue to play an important role in helping governments address following issues:

First, our top priority is to generate further the momentum of global economic integration and recovery, uphold its leading role in trade and investment liberalization, and fulfill the Bogor Goals by 2020. Public-private partnership should be strengthened to promote comprehensive and inclusive connectivity, develop quality infrastructure, and enhance supply chain connectivity as well as next-generation trade and investment issues.

From this Forum, I would like urge businesses to enhance cooperation and support member economies in promoting investment in education and training so that our economies and employees can better adapt to the new economic environment. In the long term, investing in the people will help ensure social consensus on trade and investment liberalization. This is a pre-requisite for businesses to take advantage of opportunities from globalization and expanding their investment and trade on the global scale.

Second, APEC needs to bolster efforts to ensure the inclusiveness of growth. We need to turn “economic miracles” into “inclusive development miracles” in our region and APEC should continue to play a leading role in the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Businesses need to place greater emphasis on social responsibility, make active contributions to building resilient and inclusive communities, ensuring food-water-energy security, infusing entrepreneurship, furthering women’s economic empowerment, and supporting MSMEs in gaining a stronger foothold in the global market.

Third, to foster a shared future, all of you as well as millions of other businesses in the region need to make active contributions to the development and realization of the post-2020 APEC Vision on building a peaceful, stable, dynamic, integrated and prosperous Asia-Pacific. With the contributions and practical experience of businesses, we can develop a comprehensive and inclusive vision for the region, which ensures the interests of the people and businesses. This also provides the fundamentals for the sustainable development of the APEC economies and business community in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Viet Nam has scored enormous successes in its 30 years of renovation and nearly 20 years its membership in APEC. From a less developed country, Viet Nam has become a developing middle-income economy, and an important link in the network of 16 Free Trade Agreements. As an economy with a high level of openness, the future of 90 million Vietnamese people is increasingly linked to the future of the Asia-Pacific. Many APEC member economies will continue to be among Viet Nam’s biggest investors and leading trade partners.

In the years ahead, Viet Nam will continue to carry out the comprehensive reform with three strategic breakthroughs to improve market economy institutions, promote quality human resource development, and develop a modern infrastructure system. At the same time, we need to focus on transforming the growth model, developing knowledge economy and advanced technology, modernizing agriculture, supporting industries, maritime economy and tourism. We also place importance on fine-tuning the institutional, policy and legal frameworks, protecting the environment, providing an enabling business environment for all sectors, releasing all potentials of businesses, enhancing law enforcement and upholding the rule of law.

Along with the comprehensive renovation, Viet Nam continues to deepen its  international integration and make active contributions to multilateral mechanisms. After 11 years, this is the second time Viet Nam has the honour to be the host of APEC, representing a vivid example of our commitment in the international arena. The State and people of Viet Nam always highly value the support of the APEC business community to Viet Nnhnhbam during our 30 years of renovation. Many business people present here today have come to our country from the first days of our open-door policy. We thank you for your support to help us overcome difficulties and challenges over the last 3 decades and make such achievements that you can see today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a business community with the high level of adaptability, the APEC businesses will certainly continue to prosper amidst a time of strong volatility. We hope that you will continue working with us to generate new momentum for regional growth and integration, so that the future of the world in the 21st century would truly begin in the Asia-Pacific.

On that note, I am convinced that the APEC CEO Summit 2017 will be a great success and will further contribute to cooperation and integration in APEC.

On this occasion, I hope that you will take some time to visit Da Nang city and the world cultural heritage sites of Viet Nam such as Cham Tower in the My Son Sanctuary, the Complex of Hue Monuments, and particularly Hoi An Ancient Town, which has made its name on the world’s nautical chart since the 17th century as one of the most bustling trading ports of the region.

I wish you all good health, happiness and success.

Thank you very much!

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