Cablegate: Vietnam Is Not Ready for Apec 2006
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 002482
FOR EAP/BCLTV DOUG SONNEK; EAP/EP MEREDITH MILLER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC ETRD ECIN VM APECO APEC
SUBJECT: VIETNAM IS NOT READY FOR APEC 2006
SENSITIVE - DO NOT POST ON THE INTERNET
1. (SBU) Summary. The Government of Vietnam (GVN) is
struggling to prepare for APEC 2006 and faces a steep uphill
battle. Vice Foreign Minister Le Cong Phung told the
Ambassador during a luncheon on September 23 that Vietnam
"does not have much time" to prepare for APEC and will seek
help from fellow APEC economies. Phung acknowledged that
Vietnam still needed to compose an APEC roadmap and draft
agenda, hopefully before the APEC Leaders meeting in
November. The Ambassador stressed that the GVN needed to
give a clear signal soon of its APEC 2006 intentions and
goals. The Ambassador also reiterated the four main U.S.
APEC priorities for APEC 2005. End Summary.
VIETNAM'S PREPARATION FOR APEC 2006
2. (SBU) The Ambassador hosted a luncheon September 22 with
Vietnam's main APEC working players, including Vice Foreign
Minister Le Cong Phung, to discuss APEC issues. Phung
recently replaced Vice Foreign Minister Vu Dzung as
Vietnam's Senior Official for APEC 2006 and the coordinator
of all APEC issues. Also present were Mr. Cao Tran Quoc
Hai, Deputy Director General, Department of Multilateral
Economic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA);
Ms. Nguyen Le Thanh, Head of APEC Division, MOFA; Ms. Tran
Thi Thu Hang, Deputy Director General, Multilateral Trade
Policy Department, Ministry of Trade (MOT) and Vietnam's
Senior APEC 2005 Official; and Ms. Ngu Hoang Thuy, Head of
APEC/ASEAN Division, MOT.
3. (SBU) Vice Minister Phung opened the meeting by saying
that Vietnam "does not have much time" to prepare for APEC
2006. The GVN faces an uphill battle in completing its
preparations and will eventually need help from other APEC
economies. The Ambassador offered to help Vietnam, but
stressed that the GVN first needs to send a clear signal to
other APEC economies about its intentions and goals for APEC
2006. Phung confirmed that the GVN is struggling to prepare
a draft agenda before the Busan Leaders Summit and added
that Vietnam will face "a lot of trouble" because it still
does not have a "roadmap" for APEC 2006.
4. (SBU) According to Phung, Vietnam tentatively plans to
host Senior Officials Meetings in February, June and
September 2006. The APEC 2006 Leaders Meeting is scheduled
for the week of November 12-19, 2006. On logistics, Phung
admitted that Vietnam faces a hotel shortage for APEC 2006,
but he was confident that the problem could be resolved.
The Vice Minister warned that Vietnam's APEC "facilities
will not be as good as Bangkok" but added that a new
convention center will be ready in September 2006 for APEC.
The Ambassador suggested that Vietnam consider allowing
Embassy officials to begin working with the GVN on security
planning for senior APEC officials.
U.S. AND VIETNAM'S APEC PRIORITIES
5. (SBU) The Ambassador outlined the top four U.S.
priorities for APEC 2005 (trade liberalization, human
security, intellectual property rights protection and anti-
corruption), noting that these issues will remain important
in 2006. He emphasized that infectious diseases including
Avian Influenza should be considered by APEC and asked that
Vietnam officially join the International Partnership for
Avian and Pandemic Influenza (IPAPI). Vice Minister Phung
and Senior APEC Official Hang agreed that the United States'
points were important and were currently being considered by
the GVN, including the IPAPI proposal.
On trade and investment, the Ambassador asked Vietnam to
consider moving the Transnational Corporations seminar to
the margins of the Investment Experts Group meeting in early
2006. Senior APEC Official Hang suggested that U.S. APEC
officials consider moving this meeting to some date between
SOM I and SOM II instead, tying it to a public/private trade
facilitation meeting that Vietnam will host.
6. (SBU) MOFA's Department of Multilateral Economic
Cooperation Deputy Director General Hai said that the three
main APEC 2005 security priorities for Vietnam are: MANPADS
Initiatives; Avian Influenza; and Regional Security. Hai
requested that the USG apprise the GVN about all its APEC
positions leading up to the Busan Conference.
7. (SBU) Comment: With the exception of Vice Minister Phung,
Post's Economic Section staff have previously met with the
other GVN APEC officials present during the past few months.
This meeting, unfortunately, only confirmed our earlier
understanding that the GVN is still well behind in its
preparations for APEC 2006. The GVN needs to act now in
order to be ready in time. This message needs to be
reiterated by all other APEC economies whenever possible.