APEC member economies must ensure that growth tangibly improves people’s lives as they move to sustain an emerging recovery in the Asia-Pacific, said Viet Nam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in remarks to the region’s Finance Ministers.
Finance Ministers convening in Hoi An provided a favorable assessment of the near-term economic and financial outlook of APEC economies and are finalizing collaborative policy actions to secure and build on this momentum.
“The global economy is recovering and the APEC region, with the world's leading economies and many dynamically developing ones as members, remains the driving force for growth,” explained Prime Minister Phuc. “The progress of our economies should cause us to join hands to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for prosperity and sustainable development.”
“We must continue to actively cooperate in APEC towards the objectives of promoting economic integration, innovative and inclusive growth and enhancing the competencies of our small and medium enterprises,” Prime Minister Phuc continued.
Finance Ministers are addressing concerns over low productivity, improving but still underperforming growth, and the impact of rapid technological innovation and climate change in APEC economies, which account for 3 billion people and 60 per cent of global GDP.
“The Asia-Pacific is still faced with many challenges that require enhanced cooperation in the quest for new drivers of growth,” noted Viet Nam Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung, Chair of the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting.
Measures being advanced by Finance Ministers are focused on enabling private sector infrastructure investment to boost connectivity in underserved areas of the region and expanding financing access to foster entrepreneurship and cross-border opportunities for small businesses.
Parallel work is being taken forward by Finance Ministers to tackle tax base erosion and profit shifting, or corporate tax loopholes that redirect costs to small firms and the public. They are also endeavoring to strengthen disaster risk financing and insurance to limit the outsized threat they pose to small scale producers and suppliers.
These efforts are being informed by inputs from the APEC Business Advisory Council and representatives of the Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank.
“We, the Finance Ministers of APEC member economies, must commit ourselves to continued cooperation to address shared challenges and move towards sustained financial stability and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific,” said Minister Dung.
“Concerted efforts by all APEC member economies to share good practices and experiences, and help each other to effectively address the difficulties we face will contribute to the overall development of the region,” Minister concluded.
Policy actions introduced by Finance Ministers will set the stage for the meeting of APEC Economic Leaders’ in Da Nang, 30 kilometers from Hoi An, in three weeks to provide their directives to member economies for addressing trade and growth.