SOM 3 and Related Meetings continue with Day 8

25 August 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) and Related Meeting continued the eighth working day with activities of SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE), Ad-hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy (AHSGIE), Health Working Group (HWG), Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and Economic Committee (EC).

The Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI)'s plenary meeting entered its second working day with reports and discussion on the on-going projects implemented by groups and fora under CTI. Discussions focused on supporting the multilateral trading system, including updated reports on the ratification and implementation of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), and the implementation of tariff commitments under the newly-expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The realization of the Bogor Goals, capacity building for effective participation in RTAs/FTAs as well as next-generation trade and investment issues were also on the agenda. Delegates also discussed on enhanced cooperation on global value chains, MSMEs internationalization, trade facilitation and connectivity, innovative development, and engagement of the private sector.

The Economic Committee (EC) opened its plenary meeting this morning. This is the second meeting of the Committee in 2017. Delegates actively discussed project proposals and shared experiences and best practices with a view to advancing EC objectives. Enhancing cooperation between EC and the Competition Policy and Law Group as well as the contributions of the Friends of the Chair in designated areas were also mentioned. At the meeting, representatives of the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) briefed delegates on the regional economic outlook. Other topics under discussion were digital economy – policy lever for investment and growth, the use of economic evidence to promote more effective competition policy and market functioning, work plan on online dispute resolution.

The Meeting also agreed on the APEC-OECD Framework for Competitive Policy Assessment to be reported to Senior Officials. This Framework aimed at strengthening capacity building for APEC economies in competition policy assessment, promoting good regulatory practices and effective competition policy, thus promoting economic, financial and social inclusion in the APEC region.

The meeting of SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE) exchanged views on policies, operation and management of SCE fora. This Committee was set up to support implementation of APEC's ECOTECH activities by prioritizing work based on the commitments made by Leaders' and Ministers, and overseeing the work of APEC fora. It also provides policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC's ECOTECH goals, and coordinate ECOTECH objectives and priorities between the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the APEC ministerial meetings.

The Health Working Group (HWG) continued its work today with the Policy Dialogue on HPV and Cervical Cancer and the Cervical Cancer Expert Group Workshop. Participants discussed the goal of reducing HPV and cervical cancer cases in member economies; shared experiences in implementing HPV vaccination program and future plans; the effect of HPV vaccination on young adolescent girls' health, among other issues.

Today also saw the meeting of the Ad-hoc Steering Group on Internet Economy (AHSGIE). One of the main items on its agenda was the drafting of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap.