The 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting Reaffirmed the Forum's Role as a Driver for Regional Growth and Economic Integration
09 November 2017, Da Nang, Viet Nam - The 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting, under the chairmanship of the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and the Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, came to an end.
The meeting saw the participation of APEC Ministers and representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Avezedo also attended the meeting.
The major outcomes of the Meeting are as follows:
First, Ministers reaffirmed their commitments to sustaining momentum on regional cooperation, reinforcing APEC’s role as the premier regional economic forum, and upholding APEC’s ability to adapt, transform and provide leadership in the region. Ministers discussed specific measures to promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and achieve the Bogor Goals; promote quality growth; strengthen infrastructure connectivity, investment and development; and implement structural reform. Ministers emphasized the need for continued efforts in emergency preparedness and disaster management, and building resilience for APEC communities; and stressed the importance of capacity building to further enhance APEC economies’ ability to participate in RTAs/FTAs. Ministers welcomed economies’ efforts to implement the Lima Declaration on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
Second, Ministers agreed on the need for APEC to create new dynamism with a view to reinforcing the Asia – Pacific’s profile as a driver of global economic growth and integration. Ministers emphasized the importance of structural reform to improve productivity; supporting MSMEs to boost growth and ensure employability; fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and start-ups; providing the labor force with the skills needed to meet the new and emerging demands of jobs in the digital age; applying science and technology to ensure food security and sustainable rural-urban development in response to climate change.
Third, Ministers endorsed four major initiatives as core deliverables for APEC 2017: the APEC Cross-Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework; the APEC Strategy on Green, Sustainable and Innovative SMEs; the Food Security and Climate Change Multi-Year Action Plan 2018-2020; and the Action Plan on Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth.
Ministers agreed on strategic documents to be submitted to APEC Economic Leaders. A number of initiatives proposed and adopted this year are people- and business-centered and focusing on narrowing the development gap. These initiatives will support efforts to build a dynamic, sustainable and inclusive APEC community; open up new potentials for regional growth through quality human resources development and education cooperation; creating equal opportunities for all people, including women and youth; to contribute to economic development and enable the realization of the fruits of free trade and growth. These deliverables are vital to overall endeavors to underwrite peace, stability, dynamism, inclusiveness and prosperity in the region, where the people and the businesses are at the center.
Fourth, the Meeting welcomed the endorsement of the “APEC Towards 2020 and Beyond” paper, which is an important deliverable of APEC 2017, and helps prepare APEC to enter its fourth decade of development and to achieve the Bogor Goals by 2020.