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Ensure flow of essential goods and services

The pandemic has hindered the flow of essential goods and services across borders and has aggravated trade restrictions such as tariff and non-tariff barriers. Supply chain disruptions, especially of vaccines and related medical products, exacerbated the situation. Building on the 2021 Ministers Responsible for Trade Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chains and the Statement on Services to Support the Movement of Essential Goods, APEC will ensure the safety, efficiency, and resilience of trade in essential medical products.

Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific

The global environment has evolved since leaders initiated the conversation on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) in 2006, prompting officials to revisit key elements of regional economic integration. Thailand will initiate a refreshed conversation on the FTAAP agenda, drawing on lessons learned from COVID-19 and incorporating emerging trade issues such as health, environment and digitalization.

Adapting to digital transformation

APEC will continue to strengthen customs cooperation, market access and digitalized border processes as well as increase the uptake of paperless trading. As the pandemic accelerates digital transformation, the public and private sectors need to collaborate on agreed measures to create an enabling ecosystem for the digital economy.

Digital Roadmap

APEC will continue to accelerate the implementation of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap across relevant work streams, including work on digital payment.

Promote structural reform for green recovery

A transformation towards inclusive and sustainable growth requires tackling related behind-the-border impediments through structural reform. The Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform and the 2022 APEC Economic Policy Report on “Structural Reform and a Green Recovery from Economic Shocks” will provide important analysis and policy tools to support a green transition. Adapting and strengthening domestic policies and institutions will be vital, including economic and legal infrastructure, regulatory practices, as well as public sector and corporate governance.

Economic policies to address environmental challenges

Aligned with global efforts, APEC will promote economic policies that contribute to alleviating environmental challenges. Building on the 2021 APEC Ministerial Meeting Joint Statement, the forum supports continued discussions on the impact of non-tariff measures on trade in environmental goods and services and the development of recommendations for potentially producing a voluntary, non-binding reference list with a view to providing guidance for further work, and to update the APEC List of Environmental Goods.

Financial inclusion

As APEC enhances its work on sustainability and inclusivity, it is crucial to ensure that financial infrastructure in the region is designed to support these objectives. In 2022, officials will strengthen financial inclusion to small-business owners and staff, women, youth, informal-sector workers and other groups with untapped economic potential.

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