Arequipa, Peru, 17 – 18 May 2016
2016 Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement
We, the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), met on 17-18 May, in Arequipa, Peru, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Ms. Magali Silva, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Republic of Peru.
We welcome the participation in the meeting of the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the 2016 Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the APEC Secretariat.
Economies continue to expand around the world, but at a relatively moderate pace and unevenly. The APEC region, home to around 2.8 billion people, representing 57 per cent of the world's GDP and 49 per cent of world trade, is expected to post a GDP growth rate of 2.7 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year. Nevertheless, to achieve our goals of prosperity for our people we will remain focused on liberalizing and facilitating trade and investment to support broader efforts to regain economic momentum.
To advance our work this year, we adopted the theme "Quality Growth and Human Development", focusing on the following APEC 2016 priorities: Advancing Regional Economic Integration, Enhancing the Regional Food Market, Working on the Modernization of MSMEs, and Developing Human Capital.
Supporting the Multilateral Trade System
Having noted the contribution that the rules-based multilateral trading system (MTS) has made to the strength and stability of the global economy, the Chair issued the Statement of the Chair on Supporting the MTS.
Enhancing Regional Economic Integration Agenda
We commit to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in order to strengthen and deepen regional economic integration. We reiterate our commitment to eliminate barriers to international trade and investment in the region.
We take note of the progress report on the second-term review of economies’ advancement in achieving the Bogor Goals and instruct officials to complete the report by November 2016.
Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP)
We reaffirm our commitment to advance the process in a comprehensive and systematic manner towards the eventual realization of the FTAAP as a major instrument to further APEC´s regional economic integration agenda towards and beyond the Bogor Goals. Therefore, we commend the progress on the implementation of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP.
We recognize that APEC has a critical role to play in shaping and nurturing regional economic integration, upholding the principles of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation under a win-win spirit, promoting profound economic restructuring, deepening and strengthening regional economic integration, and give greater impetus to the sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific. In this sense, APEC encourages unilateral economic reforms and the conclusion of comprehensive and high quality RTAs/FTAs. In 2006, APEC economies agreed to examine the long term prospect of an FTAAP. In 2010, APEC Leaders agreed on “Pathways to FTAAP” and instructed APEC to take concrete steps toward realization of an FTAAP, followed in 2014 by an instruction to undertake a Collective Strategic Study. In this regard, we reaffirm that APEC is expected to make an important and meaningful contribution as incubator of the FTAAP, in an inclusive and balanced manner, by providing leadership and intellectual input into the process of its realization. We agree to continue to strengthen our cooperation with intensified focus on the foundation for APEC’s contribution to eventual realization of an FTAAP by taking ambitious and concrete steps forward in 2016.
We welcome the final draft of Chapters 1-8 of the Collective Strategic Study on Issues Related to the Realization of the FTAAP. We welcome the progress with respect to the first draft of Recommendations and the draft Chapter 9. We acknowledge the high quality work that has gone into the Study, which is going to be one of the most important deliverables of APEC 2016. We instruct officials to finalize the Study and its Recommendations according to the agreed Terms of Reference in order to present them to Ministers and Leaders this November for endorsement. We look forward to an ambitious, bold and forward looking statement that builds on the FTAAP Study and its Recommendations as part of the 2016 Leaders´ Declaration.
We welcome APEC’s progress in implementing the Regional Economic Integration (REI) Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI), which has contributed to expand our understanding on relevant fields of FTA negotiations, and will continue to serve as a solid stepping stone for the realization of the FTAAP. We also welcome the workshops on Technical Barriers to Trade and Existing International Investment Agreements (IIAs) in the APEC Region and the planning of workshops on Services, Environment, Intellectual Property and cross-border e-trade. We encourage an active participation of even more economies in various FTA negotiation fields.
We welcome the results of the Trade Policy Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs held by the Committee on Trade and Investment, and look forward to the forthcoming workshops related to services, environment, intellectual property rights, as well as the SOM Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs.
Environmental Goods and Services
We congratulate those economies that have fulfilled Leaders’ groundbreaking commitment to reduce applied tariffs on the APEC Environmental Goods List to five percent or less, and strongly urge those economies that have yet to fulfill this commitment to do so as soon as possible.
We welcome the progress in implementation of the Environmental Services Action Plan (ESAP) to promote liberalization, facilitation, and cooperation in environmental services, and look forward to the results of the environmental services regulatory measures survey by AMM in 2016 and to any progress on further studies of a wider range of services in environmental industries and businesses as envisaged under the ESAP.
Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform
We reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services. We welcome progress made to date while recognizing the need for further ambitious efforts to meet our goal. We express our appreciation to those economies who have volunteered to undergo a voluntary inefficient fossil fuel subsidy peer review. We welcome ongoing initiatives to share best practices and facilitate capacity building to further progress toward this goal.
We welcome the progress of the final assessment of the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP). The SCFAP and its two predecessors, the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plans (TFAP I and TFAP II), were ambitious initiatives which attest to APEC’s leadership in the trade facilitation.
APEC has made considerable progress through the initiative but further gains can still be made. Therefore, we instruct officials to develop a second stage of SCFAP to continue enhancing supply chain connectivity and efficiency in the APEC region.
We welcome the progress made on a suite of Global Data Standards (GDS) pilot projects which will demonstrate how GDS can enhance supply chain performance. We look forward to the conclusion of pilot projects and the related PSU study. We encourage officials to explore next steps for the wider use of GDS in the APEC region, based on the outcome of the PSU Study.
We instruct officials to continue the work of the APEC Alliance on Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) and make use of its contributions in APEC’s capacity building efforts, based on regular inputs from the public and private sectors.
We reaffirm the importance to carry forward the work related to the Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network (APMEN), which aims to promote supply chain connectivity through E-port development and collaboration efforts. In this respect, we endorse the Work Plan of APMEN 2016, and look forward to capacity building activities and Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) to be undertaken later this year.
We commend the progress on work of the APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain (GSCNET), including the launch of a bilingual website operated by GSCNET Tianjin Pilot Center. We welcome new members who have joined the GSCNET and encourage more members to nominate more institutions and experts to join and contribute to a well-functioning GSCNET. We look forward to the forthcoming Workshop on Capacity Building in August.
We recognize the work developed in order to identify Best Practices on Critical Issues in the Asia-Pacific region for the Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and we further instruct officials to collaborate with the forthcoming survey and workshop. Through APEC´s leadership in this field, we support the complete and effective implementation of the TFA as quickly as possible.
We welcome the Study of APEC Best Practices in Authorized Economic Operator Programs. We note the importance of this work as we continue to pursue effective secure trade and facilitation in the region, based on the international standards developed by the World Customs Organization. We encourage officials to build on this work and further implement the APEC Customs 3M Strategic Framework towards developing minimum standards for AEOs to include SMEs, and the promotion of AEO mutual recognition across the region.
We welcome the Initiative on Single Window Systems’ International Interoperability which aims to foster the flow of goods, enhance supply chain security, reduce costs and provide quality and timely information on trade across borders. We encourage economies to begin discussions next year on establishing pilot projects on voluntary basis.
We affirm the importance of structural reform to remove barriers to trade and investment and recognize economies’ continued efforts to improve competition policy, the ease of doing business and good regulatory practices. To achieve more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets we encourage officials to further work to promote good regulatory practice in APEC economies in accordance with the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR 2016-2020), which stimulates balance, innovative, and inclusive growth. We look forward to economies completing their individual structural reform action plans in 2016. We also look forward to the outcomes of the 9th Conference on Good Regulatory Practice to be held in August 2016.
We reaffirm the importance of initiatives under the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025, towards a seamless and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia Pacific region by 2025. We encourage member economies to take further actions to ensure continued implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 under the pillars of physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity. We welcome efforts to enhance the Yearly Review Framework of the Blueprint and look forward to more cooperation initiatives under relevant APEC fora.
Quality infrastructure is a key priority for the region. We commend the positive contribution of relevant initiatives in APEC such as the APEC Peer Review and Capacity Building on Infrastructure Development and Investment, and APEC Initiative for Enhancing the Quality of Electric Power Infrastructure.
We welcome the progress in the APEC Peer Review and Capacity Building on Infrastructure Development and Investment. We look forward to the final review report by the end of 2016 and capacity building activities thereafter.
We welcome the progress on the report ‘Study on the Infrastructure Investment in the APEC region.’
We applaud the efforts of the APEC Transportation Working Group to build capacity within APEC economies to package, bid out, and manage Public Private Partnerships in the transportation infrastructure sector.
We also look forward to the completion of the initiative ‘Exploration on Strengthening of Maritime Connectivity’ by the end of 2016, which will help facilitate trade and investment in the region.
As for institutional and people-to-people connectivity we welcome the initiatives on enhancing connectivity of APEC grain standards, and research on mutual recognition of credits among universities in the APEC region, among others, and look forward for the report and Recommendations.
Next Generation Trade and Investment Issues
We welcome the progress on the Work Plan for Advancing Digital Trade for Inclusive Growth as a Potential Next Generation Trade and Investment Issue and the outcomes of the Trade Policy Dialogue on Digital Trade. We look forward to the independent research on Digital Trade to be undertaken by the PSU, to explore, in particular, the scope of digital trade. We note the importance of Digital Trade to facilitate cross-border trade and promote innovation and economic growth. Therefore, we instruct officials to continue to advance work in accordance with the work plan in this area.
Acknowledging the enormous potential in improving competitiveness of manufacturing industries, we also look forward to the implementation of the Manufacturing Related Services Action Plan (MSAP) by the economies, with a view to reducing or eliminating trade and investment barriers and/or improving trade and investment environment in this sector.
The rapid growth in trade in services in our region needs to be supported by a free and open services market which will serve as a driver of economic activity, growth and job creation.
With a view to implementing the APEC Services Cooperation Framework, we welcome the progress made in developing a strategic and long-term APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap by the end of 2016, which works towards the adoption of a concerted set of actions and mutually agreed targets to be achieved by 2025. We support work in the Economic Committee and in the Committee on Trade and Investment on structural reform and services given the importance of unilateral structural reforms and trade liberalization and facilitation for improving services sector.
We instruct our officials to further accelerate their work on developing a Roadmap which lays concrete steps to increase services competitiveness of the region, including specific actions to improve the environment for services trade.
We welcome the outcomes of the APEC Public Private Dialogue (PPD) on Services that was organized in cooperation with ABAC and PECC and we underscore the importance of cross-fora collaboration and continued stakeholder engagement in the development and implementation of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap.
We reaffirm our intention to seek better ways to produce services-related statistics and increase the number of APEC economies with indices for measuring the regulatory environment in services, taking into account existing indices maintained by other institutions such as OECD and World Bank. In this regard, we welcome the outcomes of the Workshop on Measuring the Regulatory Environment in Services Trade of APEC which discussed OECD and World Bank methodologies as well as the WTO data base.
We acknowledge the significance of the Investment Facilitation Action Plan (IFAP) encouraging economies to report progress on the implementation of the agreed set of priority actions for 2015-2016. We also welcome policy dialogues to exchange best practices on IFAP’s implementation in the APEC region.
We endorse the APEC Chemical Dialogue’s Best Practice Principles Checklist to help economies apply those Principles during the regulatory process and we welcome the submission of an annual report on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) implementation status in APEC member economies. We welcome and support the capacity building projects to train chemical regulators on the implementation of best practice principles, and the efforts undertaken to address the divergences in GHS implementation across APEC. We welcome the Virtual Working Group on Marine Debris’ efforts in collaboration with the CTI´s APEC Regulatory Cooperation Advancement Mechanism (ARCAM) initiatives to identify and reduce barriers to deploying sustainable waste management systems.
We welcome work by the Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) in cooperation with the Health Working Group (HWG) to implement the Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 Roadmap and build more sustainable and high performing health systems by reducing and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade and investment through possible measures such as building adequate physical infrastructure in the health care sector. We welcome progress made to establish APEC Training Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Sciences to promote greater regulatory convergence by 2020 to provide patients better access to medical products including in multi-regional clinical trials, bio therapeutics, good registration management, and global medical product quality. We look forward to the outcomes of the joint ABAC-LSIF pilot projects that address supply chain connectivity and integrity. We welcome the LSIF’s quality systems capacity building work in laboratories, hospitals and blood banks to promote use of international standards. We look forward to outcomes on work in the LSIF, in consultation with the HWG that addresses the enabling environment for the use of big data analytics in bio-medical research and decision making.
We welcome the Automotive Dialogue (AD)’s work on integrating small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into automotive global value chains and look forward to advancing APEC’s work on addressing barriers to trade that SMEs face in their integration in automotive GVCs through the GVC-SME-Automotive-Sector (GSAS) Initiative – Phase 2 and the development of the APEC Regional Automotive Supplier Excellence Program (RASEP).
We encourage economies to accelerate the development of electric vehicles in the Asia-Pacific which can be important components in the region’s transition to low-carbon economies and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. We expect that APEC Roadmap for Electric Vehicles facilitates the adoption and implementation of international standards pertaining to electric vehicles.
Regulatory Coherence and Cooperation
We look forward towards the implementation of the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practices. We welcome the APEC Seminar on Sharing Good Practices and Experiences on Advertising Self-regulation.
We note the discussion of government procurement related issues as a possible means to support effective and efficient procurement markets in all APEC member economies.
We welcome the work on identifying and reducing barriers to the deployment of sustainable waste management technologies.
Standards and Conformance
We welcome the work done by the Sub Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) to strengthen standards and conformance infrastructure, to support innovation and a quality culture in the APEC region, and the exchange of experiences in standards and conformance education. We also welcome the support to MSMEs through promotion of standards, conformity assessment, accreditation and metrology to increase their competitiveness and facilitate trade.
We welcome collaboration between the SCSC and the SME Working Group to promote information exchange to facilitate competitiveness and reduce barriers to trade.
We recognize the continued efforts of the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) in promoting the role of science-based standards and regulations to improve food safety and ensure predictability and transparency in agriculture and food trade in the APEC region, through work on good regulatory practices, and its focused work this year on increased transparency and public consultation in the development of regulation, pesticide maximum residue limits, hand hygiene behavior change, and capacity building in food safety systems.
We congratulate the SCSC Wine Regulatory Forum (WRF) for fulfilling its goal to develop a consolidated APEC wine certificate, which will facilitate wine trade in the APEC region. We look forward to continued work by the WRF to promote reduction and elimination of technical barriers for wine trade including through its efforts to promote good regulatory practices for wine through voluntary implementation of the APEC Model Wine Certificate.
Intellectual Property Rights
We welcome further work on issues related to intellectual property and MSMEs. We agree to foster cooperation in the area of intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, and raise SMEs awareness of IP commercialization. We acknowledge the relevance of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in our economies, as well as the importance of sharing experiences regarding genetic resources and traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources. We welcome the progress towards developing the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement and encourage officials to continue the work and to complete it on the basis of consensus at the earliest possible time.
Promoting MSME's Internationalization
Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs
We welcome the endorsement of the Reporting Mechanism for the Implementation of the APEC Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs, which will be a useful tool to keep track of our work towards the internationalization of MSMEs in the APEC region.
We support the creation and implementation of the APEC MSME Marketplace by the Iloilo Initiative to growing global MSMEs for inclusive development.
We acknowledge the initiatives being undertaken at different fora to implement the Boracay Action Agenda, and urge officials to continue developing practical initiatives that will build global MSMEs. We also acknowledge the initiatives been carried out within the SMEWG and call for continued and coordinated work within APEC and across relevant sub-fora. We note the outcomes of the workshop “Enabling MSMEs Access to the Digital Economy.”
We emphasize opportunities that the internet and digital economy offers to achieve innovative, sustainable, inclusive, and secure growth, with a view to improving connectivity. The Internet and digital economy will allow businesses, especially MSMEs, to participate in GVCs and reach a wider consumer base through new business models, creating a truly global marketplace for the exchange of goods, services, capital, and ideas. We also encourage the progress of the project to Promote E-commerce to Globalize MSMEs and the SMEWG project on the Development and Application of the APEC Model Indices for Internationalization of MSME’s.
We acknowledge the importance of greater involvement of SMEs in B2B markets as well as the efforts aimed at supporting social, youth and women entrepreneurship in order to achieve inclusive growth in the APEC region.
We also took note with appreciation that the APEC SME working group has endorsed the terms of reference for the APEC Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-fund. The Canadian contribution of C$ 2 million towards the APEC MSME sub-fund will aim to address challenges faced by MSMEs in developing economies in integrating into global and regional value chains. The sub-fund will be administered by the APEC Secretariat under the APEC Support Fund.
Non-tariff Measures (NTMs)
The importance of addressing NTMs to reduce costs to businesses operating in the APEC region has been acknowledged through their inclusion in the Boracay Action Agenda and APEC Individual Action Plans. We encourage officials, to explore further work on NTMs, including through workshops, like the upcoming workshop on import licenses.
Global Value Chains
We support the progress in implementing the work streams of the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains Development and Cooperation. This progress includes the endorsement of the Code of Conduct of the Working Website of APEC Technical Group of Measurement on Trade in Value-Added (TiVA) and the Suggested Classification of Data Measurement of APEC TiVA.
We look forward to the results of the Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Framework on Measurement of APEC TiVA under GVCs & its Action Plan and the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Group of Measurement on TiVA under GVCs.
We endorse the Report on Enabling Developing Economies to Better Participate in GVCs Phase I current status concerns and challenges and encourage officials to continue the Phase II of the Report regarding the implications by SOM3.
We welcome the progress of the initiative on Promoting SMEs’ Integration into GVCs in Major Industries, namely IT/electronics, automotive, textile, healthcare and agribusiness, and look forward to the implementation of the remaining works this year, including a comprehensive GVC workshop and the development of the final report that consolidates the outcomes of the five sectoral work streams.
We welcome the endorsement of the newly proposed initiative on SMEs’ Integration into Global Value Chains in Services Industries and encourage economies to voluntarily participate in the project to lead a specific service industry.
We also encourage cooperation with relevant international organizations and partner institutions, such as the WTO, UNCTAD, OECD, G20, the World Bank, IMF, ADB, etc., to draw on their expertise and knowledge for promoting GVCs’ development and cooperation in APEC.
Bearing in mind ABAC’s highlighting of rule of law as a basic building block for a sound business environment that attracts investment, we welcome the steady progress in the project ‘Improving investment climate for Global Value Chains’ to achieve a more predictable and transparent investment climate.
We welcome the progress in collaborative efforts to enhance cross-border value chain resilience to various risks including natural disasters.
We welcome the compilation of good practices from public and private sectors as a result of the APEC Capacity Building Seminar on Enhancing Resilience of Global Value Chains to Natural Disasters held at the beginning of this year. We encourage officials to integrate best practices on supply chain/global value chain resilience into ongoing initiatives and work with the private sector to ensure the APEC integrated value chain can recover as quickly as possible after disasters. We look forward to the continued implementation of Supply Chain Resilience Initiative under the Transportation Working Group and look forward to the upcoming workshop on Resilient Responders.
We also note the preparations for the capacity building seminar and the progress of the study on Enhancement on Integration of Regional Value Chains in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Internet and Digital Economy
We emphasize opportunities that the internet and digital economy offers to achieve quality growth, by fostering businesses', especially MSMEs', participation in GVCs and the global market. We welcome the cooperative progress made by the Ad Hoc Steering Group on Internet Economy and other fora, and instruct our officials to further advance the implementation of the APEC Initiative on Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy. We encourage new initiatives on exploring ways to promote the Internet and Digital Economy.
We reiterate the need to support capacity building activities to take advantage of digital trade benefits, and we note the proposal of some economies on a permanent moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmission of content.
We welcome the endorsement of the APEC supporting industry initiative, and instruct officials to take steps to develop a policy guideline in 2016-17 with a view to promoting policies for the improvement of supporting industries’ productivity and competitiveness, with particular focus on MSMEs, by sharing policy experiences in the Asia Pacific region.
Strengthening Business Ethics for SMEs
We acknowledge progress by the Business Ethics for APEC SMEs Initiative in doubling the number of industry association codes of ethics, expanding high-standard ethical business practices to more than 19,000 enterprises. We reaffirm the importance of ethical practices for long-term economic growth and facilitating engagement in GVCs for SMEs. We encourage the implementation of APEC principles for codes of ethics in target sectors as well as the launch of multi-stakeholder ethical collaborations to strengthen the business environment for SMEs.
Developing Human Capital
Mutual Recognition for Skills and Job Qualifications
We recognize the importance of Human Capital Development in Strengthening People-to-People Connectivity. We welcome voluntary initiatives to advance human resource development competitiveness in the region, such as mutual recognition studies to facilitate the mobility of skilled labor and to ensure the quality of skills and competencies to meet industry demands.
Women and the economy
We recognize the role of women in the economic prosperity of the region and reaffirm our commitment to take concrete policies to further enhance women’s economic empowerment. To achieve this goal, we commend the initiative to conduct case studies to collect and share good practices in which promotion of gender diversity in corporate leadership contributed to corporate growth. We also encourage officials to further work to enhance women´s participation in the economy, including the ratio of women’s representation in leadership positions. We welcome the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit, which seeks to enhance women’s economic participation through better health, and call for the public and private sectors to consider adopting relevant aspects of its recommendations.
We also welcome the initiatives aimed at spreading best practices of women-owned SMEs among the APEC economies that provide an opportunity to attract a larger number of women in self-employment, create new jobs and support economic growth and development by applying promising business models.
We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We recognize the serious threat that terrorism poses to our common values and to our economic activities. We appreciate the efforts of APEC member economies to improve regional counterterrorism capacity, to create a secure environment, strive for stability, and promote sustainable growth and prosperity in our region. We continue to encourage economies to fully implement the APEC Consolidated Counter-Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy.
We look forward to APEC’s work in 2016 on issues related to enhancing the regional food market including sustainability, investment and infrastructure, market access, and food production and trade related services. Emphasizing the need for improving sustainable agriculture, food security, food safety, and coherent food regulatory systems in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC should encourage the capability development necessary for participation in international food markets by all economies.
We look forward to the results of the Food Security Week and the implementation of the issues included in the APEC Food Security Road Map towards 2020.
Strengthening Economic and Technical Cooperation
We reaffirm the significance of economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) in advancing trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We further recognize the importance of APEC’s cooperation in reducing development gaps among member economies and supporting developing economies toward their effective achievement of the Bogor Goals. Thus, we remain committed to the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) and the Osaka Action Agenda and acknowledge the importance of arrangements underway to implement the Capacity Building Policy through ECOTECH.
We highlight the importance of urbanization in fostering quality growth and human development. We welcome our officials' work of economic and technical cooperation on this area and look forward for a successful APEC High-level Forum on Urbanization to be held in June 2016.
We reaffirm the importance of the constructive interaction and contribution of ABAC in enhancing ECOTECH activities. We encourage the APEC Study Centers Consortium, as well as regional and international organizations, such as ASEAN, PECC and PIF, to identify and pursue opportunities for mutual collaboration to support regional endeavors to uphold quality growth and attain prosperity for all. We value voluntary and in-kind contributions made by all APEC’s economies, besides their contribution to the General Project Account including sub-funds which were established or came into use this year. We call upon those that are in a position to do so to provide untied funding to ECOTECH and capacity building to help economies meet their APEC commitments.
We value the cross-fora work in APEC to jointly address issues of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, including behind-the-border barriers, to support regional economic integration. We instruct officials to continue to promote cross-fora activities to leverage on APEC’s contribution to regional economic integration.