APEC 2023: Prominent Regional Cooperation and Connectivity Forum

3:20:27 PM | 11/27/2023

At the invitation of President of the United States of America Joe Biden, Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong, accompanied by a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation, participated in the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and engaged in various bilateral activities in the United States.

Vietnam’s State President Vo Van Thuong and APEC economic leaders

Fostering robust economies

The 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week unfolded in San Francisco, the United States, featuring a series of significant events. President Thuong delivered a speech at the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, provided a keynote address at the APEC CEO Summit, engaged with the U.S.-APEC Business Coalition, participated in the Indo-Pacific Economic Cooperation Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) senior leaders meeting, took part in dialogues with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and attended the APEC Leadership Retreat. Additionally, he dedicated time to visit and converse with Vietnamese businesses showcasing their offerings during the week.

Addressing the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting under the theme "Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All," President Vo Van Thuong underscored APEC's pivotal role as a premier forum for regional cooperation and connectivity, delivering tangible benefits to all involved. Drawing from APEC's success, he outlined three key lessons for the future: the importance of open dialogue and goodwill in addressing differences, the visionary leadership that correctly positions the Asia-Pacific and APEC, and the indispensable support from the business community and the public.

Concerning APEC’s operations, President Thuong emphasized the need to maintain and solidify achievements in trade and investment liberalization, foster cooperation frameworks supporting member economies, and focus on enhancing capacity, autonomy, creativity, scientific and technological application, infrastructure development, human resources, digital transformation, and green models.

Emphasizing the necessity for a resilient region and economies ready to face challenges, President Thuong urged APEC members to engage in open, sincere, and constructive dialogues to enhance understanding, narrow differences, and foster consensus. Proposing Vietnam's bid to host APEC 2027, he garnered significant support from APEC economic leaders, culminating in its inclusion in the Joint Declaration of the Meeting.

The 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting concluded successfully with unanimous approval of the Golden Gate Declaration, affirming APEC's leadership and its position as a premier economic cooperation forum in the Asia-Pacific region. Future summits were scheduled for Peru in 2024 and South Korea in 2025.

Throughout the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, President Vo Van Thuong engaged with APEC economic leaders and guests, including U.S. Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and Peruvian President Dina Ercilia Boluarte Zegarra. These meetings resulted in increased appreciation for Vietnam's position and role, fostering commitments to enhanced diplomatic, economic, scientific, technological, educational cooperation, local-to-local connections, people-to-people exchanges, and mutual support at regional and international forums.

In parallel, President Vo Van Thuong participated in bilateral activities in the United States, engaging with California Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Erin Bromaghim. He contributed to and spoke at a high-tech business and local connection roundtable, received representatives from leading U.S. aviation and technology corporations such as Boeing and Apple, visited an overseas Vietnamese family, met with leaders and officials of Vietnam's diplomatic representation in the U.S., and toured Stanford University Medical Center.

President Vo Van Thuong commemorates APEC CEO Summit with his signature on a special poster

Vietnam's 25-year journey with APEC

During the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders' Week, as highlighted by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Vietnam commemorated a significant milestone—the 25th anniversary of its participation in APEC.

Minister Bui Thanh Son underscored Vietnam's noteworthy contributions, particularly the visionary ideas and proposals put forth by President Vo Van Thuong in addressing critical global economic issues. President Thuong advocated for a new inclusive, harmonious, and humanistic approach, presenting specific proposals for APEC's missions in the evolving period. These proposals gained widespread acclaim from leaders and the business community, earning their inclusion in official meeting documents and charting novel directions for APEC cooperation.

The unanimous endorsement of Vietnam's proposal to host APEC 2027, amid the complex global and regional landscape, demonstrated Vietnam's steadfast commitment to multilateralism, the broader Asia-Pacific region, and the APEC Forum specifically.

All APEC members conveyed appreciation for Vietnam's pragmatic and constructive contributions spanning the past two decades, reaffirming their trust in Vietnam's forthcoming chairmanship of APEC in 2027.

Significantly, President Vo Van Thuong delivered a speech and engaged in policy discussions at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), earning high praise from U.S. circles for his insights on the global situation, Vietnam's foreign policy, and the Vietnam-U.S. relationship.

Minister Bui Thanh Son said that Vietnam and the U.S. have agreed to continue their efforts to carry out their agreements made during the recent visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to Vietnam at the invitation of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. The two countries will focus on economy, trade, and investment, with the U.S. granting market economy status to Vietnam soon. Science, technology, and innovation are regarded as breakthrough fields of cooperation, and both countries will continue to cooperate in education and training, with a focus on training high-quality human resources and cooperation in response to climate change.

U.S. businesses expressed their high interest in the Vietnamese market and affirmed their commitment to continue investment and business expansion in Vietnam, especially in high technology, infrastructure, and energy. They have also readily supported Vietnam in training a highly skilled workforce for digital transformation and green transformation.

The success of this official trip holds immense importance for both multilateral and bilateral foreign affairs, contributing to the maintenance and consolidation of a peaceful, stable foreign relations landscape while facilitating national development.

By Quynh Anh, Vietnam Business Forum