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Annex A - APEC Statement on Promoting the Use of Interoperable Global Data Standards

1. In our 2013 declaration, we recognised the contribution that global data standards can make to enhancing supply chain efficiency, and encouraged officials to explore what more can be done to facilitate mutual compatibility amongst data standards frameworks, and the compatibility of economies’ frameworks with the use of global data standards.

2. In any international transaction of goods, a range of information needs to be exchanged between various parties as the goods move along global supply chains.  Global data standards can be used to ensure that relevant information is provided in a common format which is easily understood and can potentially be shared by all parties.  For example, global data standards underpin the common bar code system and the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System used to classify traded products.  We acknowledge the leadership of the private sector in developing global data standards and ABAC’s ongoing support for work within APEC on this subject.

3. As transactions by governments and the private sector become increasingly electronic, it is becoming more important and useful to ensure that systems of the relevant stakeholders are interoperable.  As such, we welcome the initial work which officials have undertaken to explore this issue including a workshop and a related trade policy dialogue on global data standards.  We note that these activities have established that the wider use of interoperable global data standards can have the following broader benefits: 

(a)       Efficiency: global data standards can improve the efficiency of supply chains by eliminating unnecessary transactions, and enabling better informed and more accurate risk assessments.

(b)       Integrity: global data standards can be used to verify the integrity of a product throughout the supply chain.

(c)       Visibility: global data standards can increase the visibility and transparency of supply chain processes.

(d)       Innovation: global data standards can provide a platform for innovation by enabling new ways to utilise information through ‘smart’ supply chain processes.

4. We also acknowledge that our global data standards activities will make a substantial contribution to the core areas of APEC’s work.  This includes our wider objectives on connectivity, global value chains, Bogor Goals andour goalto achieve a 10% improvement in supply chain performance among APEC economies by 2015 including efforts to address key supply chain chokepoints.

5. In recognition of the benefits that flow from wider use of global data standards and the linkages with existing APEC objectives, we instruct officials to further advance work on global data standards by developing pilot projects with the participation of the private sector.  These pilot projects will be a practical step to further explore the benefits of global data standards and we encourage APEC economies to participate in these projects in accordance with their own domestic circumstances. 

6. Finally, we encourage officials to conduct a study to assess the overall outcome of these pilot projects, and to establish a set of policy-based principles or recommendations which could provide reference for future initiatives on global data standards in APEC economies.