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Human Capacity Development High on APEC 2006 Agenda


Ha Noi, Viet Nam, February 22, 2006, The first formal meetings of APEC Viet Nam 2006 are taking place this week with a major focus for the year expected to be building the international integration capacity of developing Member Economies through enhancement of human capacity, cooperation in information technology and partnership for development.

Through the series of events that will culminate with the APEC Leaders Meeting in November, Viet Nam is expecting increased regional cooperation in areas such as IT skills sharing, particularly as this relates to small business.

The Chair of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting process, Mr Le Cong Phung, said one of the great strengths of the APEC process is the diversity and complementarity of its members and this would deliver tangible benefits for the people of the region throughout the year.

“APEC is a diverse forum of developing and industrialized economies where all members collaborate and share resources for the region to achieve APEC?s ultimate goals,” Mr Le Cong Phung said at the start of the meetings in Ha Noi.

"The most important support that industrialized economies can provide to developing economies is the sharing of knowledge and skills.

"Viet Nam hopes that throughout 2006 APEC Member Economies will expand cooperation in a range of areas including support for the WTO process, the implementation of the Busan Roadmap through APEC’s Collective Action Plan and individual action plans, and the promotion of High-Quality Regional Trade Agreements and Free Trade Agreements.

“To this end, all APEC Member Economies have renewed their commitment to achieve our shared goal of free and open trade and investment in the APEC region by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies”.

Mr Le Cong Phung also said he expected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from APEC activities.

“With enhanced skills to increase production, resources to promote innovation and avenues to expand trade, SMEs are able to contribute in an important way to job creation and enhance regional prosperity. Throughout the year Member Economies will look at a range of options to enhance SME growth and competitiveness.”

The first meetings of the year include the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum, Meeting of the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures and a Symposium on Information Privacy Protection in E-Government & E-Commerce as well as several other meetings in the lead-up to the First APEC Senior Officials Meeting of 2006 on March 1-2.

Major meetings in 2006 include:

* Ministers Responsible for Avian and Pandemic Influenza, Da Nang, 24-25 April
* Ministers Responsible for Trade, Ho Chi Minh City, 01-02 June
* Finance Ministers, Ha Noi, 04-08 September
* SME Ministers, Ha Long, 25-29 September
* Tourism Ministers, Hoi An, 12-18 October
* 18th APEC Joint Ministerial Meeting, Ha Noi, 15-16 November
* 4th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Ha Noi, 18-19 November


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