Vietnam tightens security ahead of APEC 2017

By Xuan Ngoc   February 7, 2017 | 08:24 pm PT
The first meetings in Nha Trang are expected to welcome 2,500 participants and international reporters.

Authorities in Khanh Hoa Province, where Vietnam will host the first 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meetings in the next two weeks, are tightening security ahead of the event.

Nha Trang, the provincial capital of Khanh Hoa, will be the venue for the first Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) from February 18 to March 3, and the Finance and Central Bank Deputies' Meeting from February 21 to 24.

Around 2,500 participants and international reporters are expected to arrive in Nha Trang with near 100 meetings taking place around the coastal resort town during the summit. “Military, police, civil defense force… have been tasked with patrolling and securing areas while medical teams will be put on alert in case of emergency,” said Le Duc Vinh, chairman of Khanh Hoa.

According Vinh, preparations for APEC 2017 are entering their final stages. The city has reportedly mobilized nearly 300 people and 180 volunteers from universities and colleges for assistance. Vinh said he has also ordered the city to stop street vendors from harassing tourists, together with ensuring adequate parking spaces for the event.

This is the second time Vietnam will be hosting the APEC summit.

Considered one of the most important events for the country this year, APEC 2017 will be a year-long event held across multiple Vietnamese cities and provinces with about 200 activities, including eight ministerial-level conferences. It will culminate with the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang from November 5 to 11.

Discussing preparations for the 2017 APEC Year in Vietnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said Vietnam has proposed the theme of “Creating a new driving force for a common future”, based on APEC’s common need for new momentum to promote integration and connectivity in the region.

In an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland last month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc invited leaders of leading economic groups and international organizations to attend the summit in an effort to promote Vietnam's position and role as the host.

APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that supports economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The forum was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.

The location of the annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed by most summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in the national costume of the host country.

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> Vietnam steps up preparations for APEC 2017

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