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Vietnam willing to further cooperation with other APEC countries: Deputy PM

Vietnam is ready to work with APEC member economies to boost regional cooperation and consolidate the position of the APEC forum, according to Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (front R) at the start of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit ministerial meetings at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC) in Beijing November 7, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (front R) at the start of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit ministerial meetings at the China National Convention Centre (CNCC) in Beijing November 7, 2014.

Deputy PM Minh made the statement at the 26th APEC Foreign and Economic Ministerial Meeting which opened in Beijing on Friday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, its website says.

It has 21 members – referred to as “member economies” – which account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s population, approximately 55 percent of global GDP, and about 44 percent of world trade, according to the same website.

Foreign Minister Minh also called on the APEC member economies to strengthen cooperation in sustainable development, narrowing development gaps and ensuring social welfare, poverty eradication, and gender equality among the group.

The Vietnamese official emphasized the need for enhancing the capacity of developing member economies as well as taking into consideration their development level during the cooperation.

He called for continuous support of member economies for the sub-regional and regional collaboration programs, including the implementation of a master plan for ASEAN connectivity, the narrowing of development gaps within the bloc and the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, and the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015.

Speaking at the meeting, many other delegates proposed a number of measures to increase comprehensive links, develop infrastructure, and respond to such global challenges as natural disasters and corruption.

They also agreed that it is necessary to enhance multilateral cooperation to maintain peace and stability in the region.

The 21 APEC members include 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, Taiwan (China), Thailand, the U.S., and Vietnam.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum operates on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue, and equal respect for the views of all participants, its website states.