SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation

APEC members engage in economic and technical cooperation to facilitate the development and implementation of measures that promote trade, investment and sustainable growth, bridging gaps in their level of development and available resources.

The APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) coordinates and manages the APEC members' economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) agenda, which is outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda. In 1996, a Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development was adopted to guide members in implementing the Osaka Action Agenda.

The objectives of the SCE are to

  • Support the 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
  • Provide policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC's ECOTECH goals
  • Coordinate ECOTECH objectives and priorities between the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the APEC ministerial meetings

In 2010, Senior Officials endorsed a new Framework to Guide ECOTECH Activities for APEC-funded capacity building and other ECOTECH activities. This framework adopted a holistic approach by

  • Revising APEC ECOTECH priorities
  • Introducing a uniform set of criteria for all project funding, where funding is based on the link between proposals and APEC’s core objectives

Within this framework, the following medium-term ECOTECH priorities are established for the period of 2015–2019:

Crosscutting priorities

  • Developing human capital through capacity building
  • Developing and strengthening the dynamism of SMEs
  • Harnessing technologies for the future and supporting innovation
  • Inclusive growth—addressing the social dimension of globalization, health and gender

Workstream priorities

  • Regional economic integration
  • Structural reform
  • Safeguarding the quality of life through sustainable growth
  • Human security

In addition, the SCE serves a coordinating role between its sub-fora to further host year goals and priorities. 

The SCE was first established as the SOM Sub-Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation in 1998. In 2002, the sub-committee was elevated to the SOM Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation. In 2005, the ESC was strengthened and transformed into the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE).

In 2012, the SCE conducted an internal review of its working mechanisms and new terms of reference was endorsed and reconfirmed in 2018.

Under the SCE are 15 sub-fora:

  1. Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG)
  2. Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACWG)
  3. Counter-Terrorism Working Group (CTWG)
  4. Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG)
  5. Energy Working Group (EWG)
  6. Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT)
  7. Health Working Group (HWG)
  8. Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG)
  9. Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG)
  10. Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI)
  11. Policy Partnership for Women and the Economy (PPWE)
  12. Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG)
  13. Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TELWG)
  14. Tourism Working Group (TWG)
  15. Transportation Working Group (TPTWG)

Last page update: January 2021

Current Activities

The SCE remains actively involved in coordinating issues across its sub-fora and between SCE sub-fora and other committees. In addition, the SCE is examining various crosscutting issues such as advancing inclusive economic growth. The SCE is currently overseeing projects on valuing indigenous economies, innovative waste management, and smart cities.

In 2020 the SCE endorsed a standardized fora assessment program for SCE sub-fora. The first SCE sub-fora to be assessed was the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG). The assessment was conducted by an assessment team comprising the representatives from the preceding, current and next year’s SCE chairing economies—as well as any other volunteering economies and with assistance from the Secretariat. 2021 will see the 14 remaining SCE sub-fora assessed using this standardized approach.

Promotion of crosscutting agenda

The SCE and the APEC Secretariat have been facilitating cross-forum collaboration through the SCE Committee of the Whole (COW), through the Lead-Shepherds and Chairs’ Meeting, through a crosscutting map of initiatives, and through identifying areas to create synergies for cooperation.

The SCE has continued to promote such collaborations. These efforts have seen a marked increase in the number of crosscutting agendas across SCE fora and APEC Committees.

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Achievements

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation