Trade Ministers from the APEC member economies, the world’s largest trading area, are set to convene in Port Moresby in an effort to secure the region’s resurgent growth.
In focus during the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on 25-26 May will be ways to support and improve the multilateral trading system, deepen regional economic integration and connectivity, and foster sustainable, inclusive growth through digital development. This includes promoting ICT use to deepen market access for businesses of all sizes in the region.
Trade Ministers will draw upon policy consultations now underway here by trade and sectoral officials, to conclude with a meeting of APEC Senior Officials on 23-24 May. They will also take into account the findings of the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis to be revealed on 23 May as well as recommendations from the APEC Business Advisory Council.
“We recognize how important a period this is for trade and the momentum our economies need to make progress,” said Ivan Pomaleu, Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to APEC and 2018 Chair of APEC Senior Officials. “Our commitment to seek common ground in APEC is guided by a shared desire to improve the lives of our people.”
“Growth in the region continues to show encouraging signs but it is vulnerable to growing trade frictions,” added Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. “We need to resolve trade worries, improve coordination to open digital opportunities and help reskill workers to help keep improving people’s livelihoods in the region.”
Trade Ministers will consider ideas presented by scholars from the APEC Study Center Consortium as well as policy prescriptions fleshed out by APEC technical working groups. Areas of emphasis will include assisting women-led entrepreneurship and trade, fisheries and food supply chains, and free trade agreements.
Trade Ministers will also take into account a briefing from World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 25 May.
“Ensuring that policy keeps up with the pace of change in the Asia-Pacific and channels innovation in sustainable and inclusive ways is a real challenge in the current environment,” Dr Bollard concluded. “Working together to advance practical trade solutions to continue the region’s growth momentum is important for us all.”
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