In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on the 21 APEC economies to join hands and share experience for sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific as the region is facing a range of challenges such as sluggish trade growth and increasing protectionism and non-tax methods as forecast by the ADB while financial resources remain limited.
In the past years, APEC finance ministers have bolstered proactive and sound cooperation to realise goals in fostering economic connections and promoting innovative and inclusive growth, he said, adding that they have also worked to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
PM Phuc spoke highly of the four priorities in the APEC Year 2017, which include Long-term Investment in Infrastructure, Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance and Financial Inclusion.
Vietnam has belonged to the group of developing countries with middle income since 2010 after over three decades of reform, he said, adding that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 stood at 6.21 percent and the figure is expected to increase to 6.7 percent in 2017 while its inflation rate is kept under 5 percent and public debt is controlled below 65 percent of the GDP.
Vietnam’s export value exceeded the US$200 billion benchmark and the amount of disbursed foreign investment was US$15 billion, PM Phuc said, stressing that the nation is targeting an annual average economic growth rate of 6.5-7 percent during the 2016-2020 period.
These achievements were spurred by contributions from the public finance sector with increasing financial incomes and development of the financial market, he stressed.
For benefits of both people and enterprises, the Vietnamese Government will further step up reform and restructure the economy, especially the financial sector, towards improving the efficiency, competition quality, inclusive and sustainable growth, the PM added.
Vietnamese Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said that APEC finance ministers will focus on the priorities and seek solutions to global and regional challenges, saying the moves will enhance stable financial connection in the Asia-Pacific region.
The ministers are set to share experiences, give comments on global and regional financial situation and discuss results of cooperation in the four priorities in the framework of Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP) and implementation of the Cebu Action Plan, he said.
Dung asked international organisations to accompany and support the FMP to tackle common challenges in the region.
Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum comprises 21 economies, including 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.