Last update: 10:39 | 10/11/2017
APEC ministers agreed to continue discussing the Action Plan to Implement the Lima Declaration on Free Trade Agreement of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) at the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting, which concluded in the central city of Da Nang on November 9.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh
Responding to reporters’ queries at a press conference at the International Media Centre in Da Nang on the same day, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, Co-chair of the AMM-29, said during 2017, at many forums and cooperation frameworks, the economies studied and worked together to define basic contents and priorities to be included in the Action Plan.
However, at this meeting, the ministers decided to not adopt the plan, he said.
He explained that APEC includes 21 member economies in four different continents with different socio-economic development, and diverse priorities and concerns so the building of a specific action plan to realise the Lima Declaration on FTAAP is not simple.
“In fact, despite great efforts, there remain differences in choosing specific areas, programmes and contents to be included in the action plan,” he said.
Therefore, the APEC ministers decided to need more time for discussion on the basis of consensus on priority contents and programmes of each member. The action plan is expected be completed in 2018.
Regarding the meeting between ministers of TPP members held on the sidelines of the AMM-29, Minister Tran Tuan Anh said the event is the continuation of exchanges and working sessions between chief negotiators of TPP members in the last four consecutive negotiation rounds as well as in line with the spirit and announcements at the 29th AMM and the 23rd Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting in Hanoi last May.
The ministers of the 11 TPP members are making further efforts to maintain a high quality, balanced and suitable agreement that ensures the interests of participating countries in order to continue bringing about common benefits through trade liberalisation, market opening, integration and further reforms, he said.
With the US withdrawal, the 11 remaining members will continue making efforts to reach the deal. Obviously, in the new context, the TPP countries have a lot of issues that should be discussed to gain consensus, he added.-VNA