The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting ended in Danang.
November 11, 2017
On the second day of the Meeting, the APEC leaders reviewed the prospects for the global economy with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde.
During the business breakfast, a discussion was held on establishing an Asia-Pacific free trade zone and a possible expansion of the APEC membership.
The final meeting focused on investments and new driving forces in international trade.
A joint declaration on the results of the forum was approved. The 2017 APEC economic leaders assessed the current regional and global economic situation, agreed on the ways to deepen cooperation, identified a number of tasks for next year.
November 11, 2017
In addition, the President of Russia had a conversation with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Meeting. The two leaders approved a joint statement on Syria.
After the completion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian journalists.
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Transcript of meeting with Russian journalists
Question: Good afternoon. The APEC summit is about to end. I would like to ask about your assessment of the work with the leaders, and possibly some organisational matters.In line with APEC traditions, a final document has been adopted. How did this work progress? There were probably some disagreements.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Regarding organisation, Vietnam has done everything possible for us to work comfortably and has undoubtedly created a very good atmosphere. This is number one.
Second. Concerning the summit’s theme – it is a highly relevant topic. You know – since most of the journalists here are Russian – we pay much attention to the digital economy in Russia in its different aspects and manifestations, and we consider problems from different angles.
I think it is vitally important that Vietnam raised exactly this topic because we should not only discuss some of the issues together but also resolve them together. It is impossible to do it alone.
For example, there is much talk about small and medium-sized businesses, and micro business, but we have to realise how it can be integrated in the overall system, the general operational chain of the modern economy, the information economy.
What needs to be done to achieve that? Russia had specific proposals in this respect, and I voiced them. It concerns the very definition of the conceptual apparatus – what is digital economy, what is digital trade and so forth. It seems very simple at first glance but in fact it requires careful analysis.
Or, take another example: we must understand the social consequences of new technologies. Some people say that it is dangerous and frightening since a lot of jobs will become redundant, and it is unclear what should be done about it. Others say there is no problem; we will just need retraining.
But it requires an expert assessment, it requires working with trade unions, international experts and the International Labour Organisation, the ILO. All of this was a subject for our discussion.
Other issues were also discussed, of course, including the fight against terrorism and the situation on global energy markets. We have just talked about it during business lunch.
We also spoke about the future of APEC. Mutual trade grew many-fold during the organisation’s lifetime. This basically shows the efficiency of the organisation.
We discussed the need to further liberalise markets and build up relations within a common and open market. Although some think that it is too early to talk about it because of the different levels of the member states’ economies.
Ms Lagarde’s report on the global economic situation was very interesting. We know that the global economy keeps growing and the mid-term forecast is good. But according to her there are risks related to the fact that the wage growth rate in the developed economies is slowing down, which cuts into the consumer purchasing power.
She also spoke about the need for a balanced budget, finance and credit policy, and the need for structural changes in the economy. These were the subjects of our discussion.
All that is extremely interesting, important and needed. And the fact that we have a general idea of the direction to move in is of great significance.
To be continued.