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Delving into agendas discussed at APEC meeting Updated: 2017-11-10 20:00:02 KST

The heads-of-state and representatives of more than 20 member economies are gathering in Vietnam's port city of Danang to attend this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.
Founded in 1989, the APEC was established to boost economic cooperation through free and fair trade among 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC's economic growth had been enormous, with trade among the 21-member economies expanding nearly seven-fold in 2015 compared to when it was first established while the average tariff rate fell to 5.6-percent from 17-percent.
Income per capita also increased by 76-percent during the period.

"Despite these achievements APEC faces challenges, from low growth to wealth polarization, that are driving support away from free trade and globalization. In light of this, Vietnam, the host country, chose the theme for this year's APEC summit as "creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future."

Among the four main agendas, President Moon is expected to particularly focus on the promotion of sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, as it reflects his administration's initiatives on "people-centered" and "income-driven" economic growth which
places emphasis on leaving no one behind in order to address chronic structural problems of low-growth and economic polarization.

(Korean , Nov. 9, Indonesia-Korea Business Forum)
"My hope is that we can build together a community of people, where the people’s hearts are connected, a community of peace that will contribute to peace in Asia through security cooperation, and a community of prosperity through mutually beneficial economic cooperation."
, . . .

"Economic inequality is one of the most important issues for South Korea. Ever since the country opened up its doors when it experienced the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and 1998 it has been suffering from wealth polarization, despite achieving higher economic growth."

President Moon is also expected to hold a number of bilateral summits including leaders that are part of the six-party denuclearization talks including China, Russia and Japan.
His so-called "balanced diplomacy" will be put to test to see whether President Moon can garner international cooperation and efforts to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.
Balanced diplomacy, according to President Moon, aims at securing cooperation from China on the North Korea issue while maintaining a strong alliance with the U.S.

"I think the concept 'balanced diplomacy' by President Moon Jae-in is something that is proposed I think has been proposed in a very timely period of time. Now the U.S. and China relations are going into much harsher competition now. The U.S. recovered its economic capabilities and it's not trying to pressure China. (President) Xi Jinping stabilized his domestic power beginning a very solid second term."

President Moon's biggest task is to get closer with Chinese President Xi Jinping not only to resolve issues concerning North Korea, but also to make a breakthrough in resolving economic tensions stemming from Beijing's retaliatory measures against Seoul's deployment of the U.S. missile defense system THAAD.

"I think the two countries needed to restore their relationship. (President) Xi Jinping needed to restore the relationship with South Korea so that South Korea would not sideline the U.S. and Japan, which are now trying to sanction and pressure China. South Korea needs to restore the relationship because of economic relations."

President Moon's visit to Vietnam comes as an opportune time to promote economic ties, as this year marks the 25th anniversary since Seoul and Hanoi first established diplomatic ties which led to soaring trade and economic exchanges.
South Korea is Vietnam's number one investing partner as of 2014, with investments amounting to 55.8-billion U.S. dollars, and trade between the two surpassing 45-billion dollars.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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