APEC 2017: Priority given to inclusive growth

Last update: 10:21 | 19/10/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - "Inclusive Growth" is one of the four priorities proposed by Vietnam for APEC 2017 cooperation.

A common strategy needed


According to observers, the biggest challenges to promoting inclusive growth in APEC are the issues of employment, income, poverty reduction, social security and equality. We have many problems to deal with, so inclusive development can be a headache. Meanwhile, these issues are not all the same; there is no trade-off, and they cannot conflict with the process of growth and development. Conducting policies in a way that retains growth is a challenge.

In addition, many other issues will emerge in the future, typically the technological revolution and its social impact. In response to these challenges, the role of the state is important, while not all countries have good resources.

In reality, economic growth plays an important role in improving the quality of life of people. However, growth itself is not the ultimate goal. Regional practice shows that we cannot pursue growth at all costs without knowing who will benefit and how sustainable the development will be in terms of social, economic and financial aspects. Therefore, growth will be unsustainable and cannot reach the maximum if inclusiveness is not ensured.

The UN survey in Vietnam shows that the number of hungry people in the APEC region dropped from 204 million in 2005 to 185 million in 2015.

However, the agency said the task of governments is not just to help poor people escape from poverty but also to ensure that the people above the poverty line will not fall back into poverty. For APEC to develop sustainably in the coming time, APEC, especially the emerging economies in APEC, needs to create more jobs with high productivity, increasing investment in vocational training and higher education, supporting small businesses, promoting gender equality and women's participation in the economy, and ensuring that all sectors of society are involved in the development and enjoyment of the benefits of development. 

As noted by the media, inclusive development has received great attention from APEC member economies and the world. Recent agendas have referred to the inclusive development as globalization has led to the imbalance when a number of small enterprises and those located in remote areas have not kept pace with development or even lagged behind. 

Therefore, the most necessary thing is a common strategy to attract the participation of all walks of life, all types of businesses and the entire population in development. Because when people participate, the results will be shared equally.

Vietnam's important initiative


This year, economies, in particular Vietnam, recommended areas of action for inclusive economic, administrative and social development. This is an important initiative of Vietnam as it has attracted sympathy and support from member economies of APEC and met the common expectations of regional economies, including Vietnam.

In the framework of the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 3), at the Seminar on Inclusive Economic, Financial and Social Development in APEC, experts said that the key determinants of inclusive development include ensuring economic growth associated with wage increases, creating more jobs; and strengthening policy coordination at the international level and among multilateral organizations in the field of inclusive growth.

At this workshop, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of SOM APEC 2017, Bui Thanh Son also stated that while APEC has made a lot of efforts to promote inclusive development, what APEC has done is still far from the expectations of the people.

"APEC has not formulated comprehensive policies to promote economic, financial and social inclusiveness while these three areas are interdependent and mutually supportive. It is necessary to put equal emphasis on the three pillars of economy: economics, finance and society. The effect of a pillar will be reduced if the two pillars fail to catch up with it. Conversely, if the effect of a pillar is enhanced, it will affect the other two pillars.

Accordingly, APEC needs a strategic and comprehensive approach. By formulating a comprehensive APEC Action Plan on all three pillars, APEC will be able to identify interdisciplinary solutions to effectively address the inclusive problem through closer coordination of efforts of member economies, raising institutional and regulatory capacities, facilitating the promotion of inclusive development as well as proposing measures to manage the transition," Son said.

However, according to experts, the most important thing is to put in place better action in connection with the process that is being discussed by APEC and will be provided within a framework for implementing this process. In just over a week, the APEC Summit will take place in Da Nang, Vietnam. At this time, experts are expecting Vietnam's "inclusive growth" initiative to be recognized by the leaders of 21 member economies and become an action agenda for APEC to implement, bringing about a more equal development for all APEC member economies.

Bich Van

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