Highlights from the fifth day of SOM 1 and Related Meetings

22 February 2017, Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa, Viet Nam – Seven APEC fora held meetings today, including the Committee of Trade and Investment (CTI), Human Resource Development (HRDWG), Life Science and Innovation Forum (LSIF), Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG), Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), Counter-Terrorism (CTWG), and Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG). Over 500 delegates participated in these meetings.

The CTI started its activities in SOM 1 with a Workshop on "Promoting Trade in Products which Contribute to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth through Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation". The workshop aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable development; removing trade barriers for development products; and enhancing the role of trade in development products on rural development and poverty alleviation. These are issues of critical importance to member economies, particularly developing ones.

The ECSG began with the Data Privacy Subgroup informal meeting. Delegates discussed the application of Cross Border Privacy Rules System (CBPR), reported on system usage, and shared feedback from businesses. As a pioneer in enhancing international cooperation on new trade and investment issues, APEC has recently been very active in promoting discussion on internet and digital economy. The APEC business community considered CBPR system as a realistic and practical way forward in ensuring  global data flows while protecting the privacy and security of personal data, and highlighted its single approach to global privacy that can help to simplify compliance with the range of regulatory requirements across the region.

CPLG’s Workshop on Economics of Competition Policy also kicked off today. Delegates exchanged and highlighted the role of economic evidence in judging competition law cases, the role of market definition and market power, the issues of cartels and mergers, among others.

In the morning, three HRDWG's networks, namely: Capacity Building, Education, and Labour and Social Protection, continued their discussion, focusing on key activities to be implemented in 2017. Reports from the networks were later endorsed at the HRDWG’s plenary session in the afternoon. In 2017, the HRDWG will continue with projects that enhance human resource competitiveness in the region, including enhancing cross-border education, mobility of students, researchers and education providers, as well as promoting quality employment.

Also in the afternoon, the CTWG and LSIF completed their first plenary meetings in 2017. CTWG members reviewed counter-terrorism activities and measures implemented in other international fora, and endorsed the working-group's priorities for the upcoming meeting. Delegates also shared practical experience and initiatives on countering terrorist financing, freezing terrorist assets, etc.

Meanwhile, the LSIF meeting reviewed APEC 2016 accomplishments, discussed commercialization of biomedical technology, the use of big data in medical research, etc.... Delegates also spent time preparing for the proposed 7th High-Level Policy Dialogue on Health and the Economy, to be held in Ho Chi Minh City this August.

SCCP also continued today’s agenda with discussion on policies and measures to enhance cooperation on information technology and risk management; intellectual property rights border enforcement; combatting counterfeit smuggling; cross border e-commerce; and progress on the the SCCP Collective Action Program and proposed directions to strengthen collaboration with other APEC committees and fora.