SOM 2 - Laying the groundwork for APEC deliverables to be achieved in 2017

May 18, 2017, Ha Noi, Viet Nam - APEC Senior Officials concluded their meeting today after one and a half day of work. More than 2,200 delegates from 21 member economies, APEC’s observers, business community, the academia, regional and international organizations had participated in more than 40 meetings of the SOM 2 cluster.

The meetings are essential in implementing the theme and four priorities of APEC 2017 which had been adopted at SOM 1 last March in Nha Trang. At the same time, many important events Viet Nam hosted this time have set the groundwork for deliberation on APEC’s directions in the future, including the APEC Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Toward 2020 and Beyond (16/5), High-level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age (15/5), and the General Meeting of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (15/5).

Taking place against a background of global trade and growth showing signs of stronger recovery, SOM 2 reaffirmed members' strong support to maintaining APEC's role as the regional premier economic forum and a pioneer in regional economic integration and growth. To this end, members agreed to continue their efforts toward attaining the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020. Together with the implementation of the Bogor Goals, member economies should keep an eye on ensuring sustainable and inclusive development with equal opportunities for all people and businesses.

At the meeting, Senior Officials also discussed the future of APEC beyond 2020 and the outcomes of the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on APEC Toward 2020 and Beyond. It was agreed that the Dialogue generated significant interest and a broad range of very insightful perspectives, as well as a set of recommendations as inputs for member economies' consideration.

Senior Officials welcomed the outcomes of the High-level Policy Dialogue on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age on 15 May, which adopted the Framework on Human Resources Development in the Digital Age. The Framework is expected to contribute to APEC's efforts in developing quality human resources that meet the needs of the fourth industrial revolution, and to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.

Senior Officials noted the progress in the implementation of the Individual Action Plans to implement the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR), the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap, the Lima Declaration on the Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP)…

New initiatives in line with the four priorities of APEC 2017 were also put forth. These include, among others, a proposal related to the promotion of social, financial and economic inclusion in APEC. Other important initiatives are the frameworks/plans related to trade facilitation, promoting cross-border e-commerce, MSMEs, food security and sustainable agriculture, rural and urban development. Report on the development of the 2017 APEC Economic Policy Report on Structural Reform and Human Capital Development was also submitted to the meeting.

chievements of SOM 2 have paved the way for APEC Ministers and Leaders to meet, discuss and adopt the main deliverables of APEC 2017. This includes the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on May 20 – 21, 2017.

By hosting the SOM 2 and other APEC activities throughout the year, Viet Nam continues to affirm its commitment to deepening international integration and proactively contributing to multilateral fora, particularly APEC and other cooperation mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region.