Mr. Nigel Haworth, Acting Lead Shepherd of the HRD Working Group,
Dr. Tran Ba Viet Dzung, Director General of the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Education and Training,
Coordinators of the Human Resource Development Working Group Networks,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It gives me great honor to address the 28th Meeting of the APEC Human Resource Development Working Group. The fact that the Meeting has attracted so large and distinguished audience highlights the importance of the work of the HRDWG to the APEC process. Allow me, on behalf of the APEC Secretariat, to extend our warm appreciation for your dedication and efforts over the past years to contribute to the very important work of the human resource development.
2. The people are our most important asset and development of the human factor is both the end and the mean in our noble cause of building a new society. In the Asia-Pacific, development of human resource is an indispensable factor for achieving economic growth and prosperity. The transition to knowledge based economy in the 21st century would be impossible without the appropriate preparation of human resource. The work for the human resource development is, therefore, increasingly important and requires concerted efforts of all our Member Economies.
3. In the APEC Vietnam year 2006 under the theme "Towards a Dynamic Community for Sustainable Development and Prosperity", Viet Nam and other APEC member economies have attached great importance to the issue of human resource development. One of the priorities of the year is to "Promote Integration Capacity through Human Resource Development, IT Cooperation and Partnership for Development". As you all are aware, promoting integration of all APEC member economies, which are vastly different from one another in many aspects such as economic, political, social and cultural setup as well as technological development level, is of paramount importance for attaining the goal of building a regional community in the Asia-Pacific. And here, human resource development is needed as one of the pivotal means for promoting integration capacity of the member economies. This could not be achieved without a highly qualified human resource.
4. However, the highly qualified human resource would not come down from the sky. It is achieved only by way of intensive education and training that is through a long capacity building process. And it requires the APEC member economies to allocate more resources to the developing of knowledge and training for enhancing the talent and innovation capacity of its people. The importance of human resources development was further highlighted as an important foundation for economic and social development of the APEC region during the 17th APEC Ministerial Meeting in 2005.
5. In the development of human resource, women and young generation, including children, should be placed in the focus of our attention. Proceeding from the important role of women in the socio-economic development and the decisive significance of the young generation for the future of our society, women and children should be substantial beneficiaries of human resources development programs.
6. All the above said is specifically pertinent to the role of the HRDWG as a coordinator and facilitator in building the capacity of member economies through policy dialogues and coordination, exchange of experience, and international cooperation in education and training.
7. Over the past years, the HRDWG has done an excellent job in this regard. I wish to congratulate the Group for their latest achievements such as the APEC Education Foundation, the APEC Cyber Education Network, the Knowledge Bank of Policy and Practice, the APEC Cyber Academy Project, the Seminar on Best Practices and Innovations in the Teaching of Learning of Science and Mathematics at Secondary Level. The other initiatives that are in progress are also impressive: the Strategic Action Plan for English and Other Languages, the APEC Learning Standards for English and Other Languages, the APEC Business Schools Network and the ICT Model School Network, Future Education Consortium and APEC Future Education White Paper.
8. I also highly appreciate the HRDWG's initiative to discuss "Human Resource and Innovation" at this Meeting. In the environment of globalization and knowledge based economy, innovation has been increasingly becoming a decisive factor of success in the technological advancement and socio-economic development. Innovation capacity is a most essential quality of human resource and, therefore, it is very instrumental to strengthen the innovation capacity for our human resource.
9. I hope that the discussion on the subject of "Human Resource and Innovation" will contribute to the orientation and advancement of the further work of the HRDWG. I also believe that this initiative and other issues on your agenda as well as all the work carried out by the Group and its three important networks so far will add, in a most meaningful way, to the further development of our great wealth of human resource that we have in the APEC region.
10. With this in mind, I wish you all a most fruitful Meeting.
Thank you.

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