17/07/2021 10:14 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

President attends APEC Informal Leaders Retreat on COVID-19

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 16 attended and delivered a speech at a virtual informal meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders at the invitation of APEC 2021 Chair - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The event discussed the COVID-19 crisis and the acceleration of post-pandemic economic recovery in Asia Pacific.

Participating leaders affirmed the important role of cooperation and multilateral measures in together overcoming the health crisis, and boosting innovative, sustainable, inclusive and secure economic recovery.

They agreed on four action orientations for APEC in the coming time.

The first is supporting vaccine sharing between economies, calling for technology transfer, and strengthening a resilient health system in response to current and future crises.

APEC will step up the implementation of macroeconomic policies and policies to support women and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and respond to climate change in order to create jobs, improve economic productivity and boost innovation, thus facilitating the economic recovery process.

It will also accelerate the digital transformation process and narrow the digital gap, including solutions to enhance digital skills for employees to participate in the new labour market.

APEC will facilitate the circulation of goods and services, ensure smooth operation of supply chains and support vaccine distribution, while opening the door for cross-border travelling with medical safety ensured.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders agreed to adopt the APEC Leaders' Statement: Overcoming COVID-19 and Accelerating Economic Recovery.

Speaking at the meeting, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the response to the pandemic over the past year has left many lessons for APEC member economies, notably, the consensus and joining hands of the people and member economies in the implementation of comprehensive, scientific, multilateral and inclusive countermeasures.

The whole world will not be safe if there is one person or one economy that is unsafe in the pandemic, he noted.
The President also emphasised that as a region housing many leading vaccine production and supply centres in the world, APEC needs to strengthen cooperation in this field.

Prospects for economic recovery depend primarily on timely, equal and affordable access to and vaccination of quality vaccines, he said, adding that taking advantage of new technologies and accelerating digital transformation are an important foundation for sustainable development.

With the motto of ‘leaving no one behind’, the Vietnamese President put forward three important proposals for APEC cooperation, including the quick implementation of cooperation programmes to support vulnerable groups to overcome the crisis, improve the resilience and adaptability of businesses, especially micro-, small-, medium-sized enterprises, provide skill training for workers, and narrow the digital gap between urban and rural areas.

It is necessary to promote regional cooperation in technology transfer and capacity improvement in vaccine research and production, and at the same time study the possibility of developing an interim agreement of APEC on the abolition of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, and develop APEC Guidelines on maintaining supply chains in emergency situations to ensure the circulation of the economy, President Phuc stressed.

He also informed participants of Vietnam’s efforts to realize the dual goals of pandemic prevention and control, and economic development, while appreciating the support of the international community for the fight against COVID-19.

The leader also affirmed Vietnam's commitment to closely coordinate with other members to promote cooperation for a better future for all./.
VNA/VNP