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APEC 2017 AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR DA NANG’S ENTERPRISES Workshop on “Da Nang Enterprises with APEC Viet Nam 2017”
Aug 03 2017

The fact that Viet Nam will host APEC 2017 has drawn massive attention from business communities, especially those from Da Nang, the city where APEC Economic Leaders’ Week will take place. APEC Viet Nam 2017 and APEC Economic Leaders’ Week are supposed to be the “golden” opportunity for Da Nang’s enterprises to connect with potential partners in various areas as well as to promote the image of their businesses at the regional and worldwide level.

APEC and the role of enterprises

APEC is the acronym for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, founded in Canberra, Australia in November 1989. The first APEC Summit took place in November 1993 in Seattle (U.S.A.). APEC strives to build a dynamic and united Asia-Pacific community, through promoting free trade and investment, regional economic and technological cooperation, ensuring people’s security and creating a more favourable business environment. After four expansions, APEC currently has 21 members including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong - China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, the United States and Viet Nam. APEC operates on the principles of consensus decision-making, equal treatment, and mutual benefits to all members.

Viet Nam officially joined APEC in 1998. Since that time, it has been a constant strategic regional economic cooperation mechanism of the country. Seventy-nine percent of total trade turnover, 78% of total foreign direct investment (FDI) value and 80% of inbound tourists come from APEC member economies. APEC members also accommodate more than 80% of Vietnamese students studying abroad. Moreover 13 out of 25 Vietnamese’ strategic partners are from APEC and Viet Nam has signed or is negotiating free trade agreements (FTA) with 20 APEC member economies.

APEC brings businesses opportunities for economic cooperation. Firstly, cooperation in APEC helps micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises approach the large market in the region. On the basis of “Bogor Goals”, APEC aims to build a free trade area covering all member economies by 2020. Secondly, the business environment with each member economy is constantly being improved through the implementation of commitment to cut down commercial transaction costs. Many programmes and projects facilitating business have been effectively implemented including the Boracay Action Programme to support the global market participation of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in the period of 2015-2020; the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC); and several training programmes in specific sectors (export safety), etc. Thirdly, APEC is increasingly recognised as the cooperative mechanism which helps businesses catch on with the global trends in entrepreneurship, business models and innovation. Furthermore, business matching activities can be done efficiently through the annual APEC CEO Summit and sideline events.

Opportunities seized for local enterprises

The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week which will take place in Da Nang from 6th to 11th November 2017 is certainly a valuable opportunity for the city to advertise its image to the world. More than that, it will provide domestic enterprises with bigger opportunities to be connected with the world’s leading corporations. It is expected that more than 10,000 international delegates, including leaders from the 21 member economies, 42 ministers, hundreds of senior officials, more than 2,000 top businesses and 3,000 journalists from major international media will be attending the APEC activities.   

Experience from previous summits shows that hosting APEC’s annual events always comes with positive economic benefits for the hosting countries and their local businesses. For example, in the APEC 2006 Summit held in Viet Nam, only in the Trade and Investment Promotion Forum organised by VCCI, eight contracts and agreements valued at nearly two billion USD were signed between Viet Nam and foreign partners. Foreign direct investment also increased significantly after 2006 due to the influence of APEC (from 10.2 billion USD in 2006 to 20.3 billion USD in 2007 and 64.01 billion USD in 2008). The Philippines, the host of the APEC Summit in 2015, also hit major success in connecting businesses.

A number of business activities have been scheduled by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) for APEC Viet Nam 2017. The APEC Start-up Forum as a sideline event of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting and the APEC Women Entrepreneurs Forum will be held in September, followed by the Doing Business with Viet Nam Forum taking place on 8th November in Da Nang. In addition, two APEC official events that attract the interest of businesses will be held during the APEC Summit in Da Nang, including the “APEC CEO Summit 2017” from 8th to 10th November and the “Dialogue between the Leaders of APEC Economies and ABAC Members”. Along with activities organised by the VCCI, Da Nang City is planning various side activities throughout 2017 as well as at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week to help city businesses connect with partners from APEC member economies.                

In addition to the opportunities to expand markets and partnerships with foreign businesses from APEC member economies, the private sector is also encouraged by the city government to participate in the supply of logistical services and the organisation of several APEC activities during the peak activities. With about 15,000 international delegates coming to Da Nang for APEC events, businesses which provide accommodation services, hotels and restaurants, transportation, tour agencies will be more likely to attend the events of the Week. Companies providing gifts and local specialties will play an especially important role in promoting the image of Viet Nam with international friends.

After nearly 30 years since its establishment and development, APEC has constantly been affirmed as the leading economic cooperation mechanism in the region. APEC increasingly connects economies, bringing regional businesses together through trade, investment and mutual development. With the theme of "Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future" for APEC Viet Nam 2017, Viet Nam is making great efforts, together with members to develop the forum to new heights. It is the pro-activeness of Vietnamese enterprises within the framework of APEC, especially through the activities of APEC 2017, that will contribute to realising those objectives./.

Source: Da Nang Department of Foreign Affair (Ngo Viet Hoai Thuong)