SOM 3: Toward an Inclusive, Sustainable and Prosperous APEC Community
30 August 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – The Third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 3) concluded today after two days of work, closing the series of SOM 3 and related meetings.
Today, under the chairmanship of SOM APEC 2017 Chair, H.E. Ambassador Bui Thanh Son, SOM 3 focused on discussing the issue of economic, financial and social inclusion. Against the backdrop that the global and regional economy is gaining momentum, but concerns about uneven distribution of the benefits of globalization and trade liberalization are still lingering, APEC members affirmed their determination to further advance the Forum's agenda in response to expectations and needs of the people and business of every member economy.
Delegates highly appreciated the outcomes of APEC Symposium on Promoting Economic, Financial, and Social Inclusion. Aiming at providing a broad-based forum for discussion on how best to advance "effective economic, financial and social inclusion of women, elderly, youth and rural communities as well as disadvantaged or vulnerable groups", as instructed by APEC Economic Leaders in Lima last year, it was widely recommended at the Symposium that APEC should take bolder actions to advance economic, financial and social inclusion on a more holistic manner, as these three pillars are mutually dependent and mutually reinforcing.
Senior Officials also endorsed three important guiding documents namely Cross-border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework, Guiding Principle on Supporting Industries, and Supply Chain Connectivity Action Plan (SCFAP II), to be submitted to APEC Economic Leaders this November.
Viet Nam briefed Senior Officials on the outcomes of the High-level Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Tourism, the 7th High-level Meeting on Health and the Economy, the High-level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Sustainable Development in Response to Climate Change. These results will also be reported to APEC Economic Leaders.
Report on the progress of APEC cooperation in the areas of MSMEs, internet and digital economy, education was also in the agenda.
Another important issue brought to the table was the implementation of the Bogor Goals, sharing of experiences and capacity building for member economies, especially developing ones, in RTAs/FTAs' negotiation, signing and implementation. As the deadline 2020 of the Bogor Goals is approaching, delegates agreed that it was timely to start discussions on the next steps to develop APEC’s post-2020 vision.
Delegates were also briefed on the preparations for the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders' Week and upcoming APEC ministerial-level activities, including APEC Ministerial Meeting on Small and Medium Enterprises (Ho Chi Minh City, 11-15/9); High-level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy (Hue, 26-29/9), Transport Ministerial Meeting and Forestry Ministerial Meeting hosted by other APEC members.
With nearly 80 activities stretching through 13 days and the participation of nearly 3,000 delegates, including many APEC Ministers and Vice Ministers, representatives of international and regional organizations, businesses, academia and the media, SOM 3 is largest Senior Officials Meeting in term of scope in Viet Nam's APEC year.