APEC member economies called to expand advantage of market integration, trade

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-20 23:02:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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HANOI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday called on high ranking officials responsible for trade from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to step up their efforts to expand the advantages of market integration and trade, boost cooperation to achieve the shared goal of greater prosperity for all in the Asia-Pacific.

Phuc made the appeal while addressing the 23rd APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT 23) which opened Saturday in Vietnam's capital Hanoi.

Trade officials are discussing the way forward for regional economic integration and the multilateral trading system, as well as how to unfold developments, including the progress of trade agreement negotiations and implementation, protectionist trends and avenues for reducing trade barriers, said a press release by APEC.

At the two-day gathering, the participants also focus their discussions on establishing pathways to more sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth that addresses rising concerns about the unequal distribution of globalization's benefits and the impact of technological change on market demand and people's livelihoods. This includes opening up small business participation in trade, supported by new digital tools and opportunities to tap into cross-border production and supply chains.

According to Phuc, "The Asia-Pacific is witnessing multiple changes in politics, economy and technology. Advanced technologies have generated many opportunities but, at the same time, brought about substantial economic, cultural and social challenges."

While aiming for a truly connected Asia-Pacific in terms of the people, infrastructure, technology and information in order to facilitate economic growth, trade and investment, and comprehensive institutional reform in each and every member economy, APEC should step up economic and technical cooperation, experience and information sharing during the process of policy-making and implementation of cooperation programs to enhance the effectiveness and distinguish APEC cooperation, Phuc proposed.

Zhong Shan, Chinese Minister of Commerce, for his part, said at the meeting that the realization of inclusive, sustainable and innovative growth is the common goal of APEC economies.

"APEC concept of open and inclusive regional cooperation fully fits with the spirit of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Zhong.

Pointing out that innovation is an important force to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development, the Chinese minister called on APEC economies to jointly cultivate a better environment for innovation in the Asia-Pacific region and maintain APEC's innovative advantages.