Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang joined his counterparts from 19 of the 21 APEC member economies at the APEC Ministerial Meeting that kicked off in Surabaya, Indonesia on April 20.
The two-day event was also attended by representatives from the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the APEC Secretariat.
A number of issues and initiatives will be tabled in order to prepare for the APEC Summit, which is set to take place on Indonesia’s resort island Bali in October.
Trade and investment liberalisation will lie at the heart of the discussion. Trade ministers will focus on ways to develop infrastructure, promote investment and restructuring to establish a free and open trade area by 2020.
Giata Wirijawan, Indonesian Minister of Industry and Trade cum Chairman of the event, stressed the importance of APEC in the global economy as it makes up as much as 56 percent of GDP and 44 percent of trade of the world.
He emphasized the fundamental role of infrastructure in APEC’s process to connect and integrate with regional economies, the economic recovery, and sustainable economic growth and equality among Asia-Pacific economies.
A number of issues to support the multilateral trade system and APEC’s priorities in 2013 are also under discussion, such as increasing exchanges and sharing experience in improving management capacity, promoting connectivity among APEC members and intensifying women’s involvement in economics and human resource development.
The Vietnamese delegation led by Minister Vu Huy Hoang is scheduled to take part in bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference with officials from the US, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, China and Canada to discuss issues of mutual concern, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).