APEC members seek science, technology cooperation

HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Measures to enhance partnership in science and technology were discussed by representatives from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies at a meeting in Hanoi yesterday.

Representatives from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies gathered in Hanoi yesterday to discuss measures to enhance partnership in science and technology.

Addressing a meeting of the 10th APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI-10), Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Tran Quoc Khanh, expressed his hope that the event would provide an opportunity for APEC members to promote new proposals to strengthen science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystems in the APEC region. 

The meeting also aims to enhance PPSTI’s role in APEC with a number of innovative policies on human resource development and technology, among others.

Those will further contribute to the PPSTI’s mandate, especially in developing and promoting policies enabling scientific research and market-based innovation, and facilitate STI capacity building and regional STI connectivity, he added. 

Nina Azrah Razali,  head of the Bureau of International Affairs of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences, told VNA on the sidelines of the meeting that APEC member economies each have many STI initiatives but each of them is doing separately. Therefore, this meeting discussed how to boost APEC cooperation in implementing the initiatives, she said. 

Emphasising the important role of science, technology and innovation, she urged the formation of working groups and partnerships for STI development.

Inclusive and quality education

At a workshop on education strategy yesterday, delegates focused on the orientation for APEC education co-operation in the next four years.

Addressing the event, Pham Chi Cuong, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training, expressed his hope that the workshop would provide a platform for APEC economies to discuss cooperation in education and training, and that many new initiatives would emerge. 

For APEC economies, education is an important driver in equipping their populations with technical and soft skills to increase productivity and enable them to face the challenges posed by rapidly changing regional and global economic environments.

According to participants, the main task right now is to translate visions and objectives of the APEC Education Strategy into achievable targets and concrete projects. 

The action plan will be developed by and for all economies, aiming to achieve a common understanding of the role that education will play in economic growth and integration across the APEC region. It will identify the objectives and targets of education development by 2020 with a vision to 2030; synthesise lessons from previous APEC work on education; propose actions for each priority area; and recommend implementation levers for the APEC Education Strategy. 

Wang Yan, Education Network Coordinator of the Human Resource Development Working Group, told Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that education research of APEC economies currently focuses on aligning competency of individuals with society and accelerating innovation.

She said increasing educational co-operation helps APEC members raise the ratio of education participation of their people, and thus contributes to economic growth in the region. 

Environmental services

A Trade Policy Dialogue (TPD) on Environmental Services was also held yesterday as part of the second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2).The dialogue was designed to provide information about the classification of environmental services, study the combination of environmental products and services and discuss ways for APEC member economies to support each other in speeding up negotiations on environmental services. 

Delegates also discussed water resource business, mentioning factors considered as momentum to enhance creativity and efficiency, as well as challenges in this field. Regarding the limited use of recycled items and disposable products, participants emphasised the importance of circular economic models and ways to increase the re-use and recycling of items in daily life. 

During the course of the final session, the panels deliberated ways to effectively boost renewable energy. Legal challenges are likely to hinder development of the renewable energy sector and they should be removed as soon as possible, they said. 

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