ABAC 3 Meeting, themed “Embrace. Engage. Enable.”, taking place from July 26-29, 2022 in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province, attracted the participation of 150 ABAC delegates, including those from major investment and promotion agencies and leading corporations in the Asia-Pacific region. Specially, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended and delivered an important speech at the opening session on the morning of July 27, 2022.
In his welcome speech, President Phuc appreciated ABAC for opening the third meeting of this year in Ha Long to bolster APEC private cooperation and work together to find ways to make a business recovery, foster trade and investment, reconnect supply chains, and work toward innovative, sustainable and inclusive development in the region”. He also emphasized Vietnam's advantages as a dynamic, potential and successful economy which is effectively maintaining positive and stable growth momentum, as well as being a safe and attractive destination for investors and a charming landscape for tourists. Being a peaceful, secure destination, full of cooperation potential, Vietnam opens its arms wide to welcome and encourage APEC businesses, he added.
The objectives of ABAC 3 Meeting are to make a business recommendation report to APEC Senior Officials, Trade SME, and Finance Ministers and then directly to APEC Economic Leaders at the Dialogue with APEC Leaders, which is scheduled to take place in the APEC Economic Leaders' Week 2022 in Thailand in November. The report covers the key topics of promoting speedy and sustained recovery, deepening regional economic integration, fostering an enabling environment through digitalization, and advancing sustainability.
Prolonged impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global supply chains, affected recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific region. To strengthen economic integration, ABAC has continuously supported realizing the Free Trade Area of the Asia - Pacific (FTAAP), proposed goals to APEC Ministers that need to be implemented soon through action programs and priorities in five areas: digital transformation, inclusive development, sustainability, trade and investment, and response to the pandemic.
The focuses ABAC has been pursuing include priorities to create a more level playing field for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in a region that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic; support these MSMEs to grow sustainably with a long-term visionary approach by adopting digital transformation to enhance resilience, drive innovations, and respond quickly to market needs and ever-changing business environment. ABAC also advocates for the global agenda for sustainability and net-zero economy and promotes green recovery pathways to ensure food security.
“We will call on APEC to support the global rules-based trading system, accelerate the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, foster actions to mitigate the impact of climate change, level the playing field for MSMEs, and leverage the digital economy. These are fundamental to ensuring that our region will be seamless, dynamic, resilient, and sustainable – and a place where everyone can enjoy the benefits and opportunities offered by deeper regional economic integration,” said ABAC Chair for 2022 and Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, Kriengkrai Thiennukul.
Mr. Thiennukul expressed his gratitude to all ABAC members, especially ABAC Vietnam, for hosting this entirely physical meeting. The meeting reaffirmed ABAC’s intention to enable the resumption of business and cross-border travel, to learn to live with COVID-19, and to live in the new normal.
As the host of the ABAC 3 Meeting in Quang Ninh, VCCI coordinated with the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee and Hai Phong, Hai Duong and Hung Yen to open two important investment promotion events: “Quang Ninh Investment Promotion Conference 2022: Combine the Best” (July 26, 2022), and “Eastern Highway Economic Connectivity Forum (VEHEC)” (July 28, 2022). Especially, at the forums, the VCCI President and Chairpersons of the People's Committee of four localities signed a cooperation agreement to connect the Eastern economic corridor to officially form sub-regional economic connectivity along the Hanoi - Hai Phong - Mong Cai Highway.