In his welcome address, President Tran Dai Quang said Vietnam is at the front of continental Southeast Asia looking out to the Pacific Ocean.
“For Vietnam, the Asia-Pacific region is always at the top of our foreign policy priority and development strategy”, he said.
"When Vietnam first hosted APEC 11 years ago, we were in the early days of our journey of regional and international economic integration,” he said, adding Vietnam has since joined the group of middle-income economies, with per capita income tripling from US$730 to nearly US$2,400.
Vietnam today is an active and responsible member of regional and global cooperation mechanisms and an important link in key regional economic integration networks, he noted.
According to the President, the achievements recorded during 20 years of APEC membership underline Vietnam’s determination to engage in a process of comprehensive renovation and extensive integration.
“They also highlight our commitment to playing a more active role in shaping regional and global cooperation mechanisms. What we have achieved thus far is, moreover, the fruits of an ever more deepened cooperation between Vietnam and APEC member economies,” he said.
“For Vietnam to become a strong economy and a favourite destination of international friends, we have made great strides in strengthening our cooperation.
He went on to say that many APEC members have become Vietnam’s top trade and investment partners. APEC members make up 85% of our international tourists and are home to 80% of Vietnamese students abroad.
“This has helped bring Vietnam closer to the world and the world closer to Vietnam. From the bottom of our heart, we hope you will continue to work together with us for the success of APEC and Vietnam,” he said.
The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6-11 is drawing around 10,000 delegates from the 21 APEC member economies.
Established in 1989, APEC comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.
It represents 39% of the world population, 57% of the world GDP and 47% of the total trade.