APEC Committee on Trade and Investment Chair Calls for Support of the WTO Ahead of 12th Ministerial Conference

Singapore, 20 August 2021
  • Issued by Committee on Trade and Investment Chair

The APEC Committee on Trade and Investment Chair calls on member economies to step up cooperation in a bid to support the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the upcoming 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), which will be held from 30 November to 3 December this year.

The call comes ahead of committee’s third meeting of the year from 24 to 26 August, where trade and investment officials will meet as part of the current APEC meeting cluster. They will report to APEC Senior Officials on initiatives focusing on four key areas including support for the multilateral trading system, deepening regional economic integration, strengthening trade facilitation and connectivity, as well as inclusion.

“Ahead of our meeting, I call on the committee’s members to support the renewal of the current practice of not imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions until the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference, and for economies that are in position to make permanent the moratorium, to do so,” said Krasna Bobenrieth of Chile.

In 2016, members launched a Pathfinder on a Permanent Customs Duty Moratorium on Electronic Transmissions in order to provide predictability for businesses and consumers and enable members to lead the global standard of removing traditional trade impediments in the digital world. There are currently 13 APEC member economies participating in this initiative.

Bobenrieth also appeals for members’ support for the rule-making function of the WTO by participating in several ongoing WTO Joint Statement Initiatives on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; e-commerce; services domestic regulation and investment facilitation for development.

“Women’s economic empowerment is an important issue in APEC, and I call for members to join the WTO Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment,” she added.

In 2019, APEC Ministers endorsed the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth to encourage initiatives across all of APEC’s work streams to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

“Lastly, I call on members of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment to contribute positively to the successful conclusion WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies,” Bobenrieth continued.

Earlier this year, the committee held an online workshop, sharing information and best practices on approaches that individual APEC economies have undertaken to ensure that fisheries subsidies do not contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“Our ability to support, participate and implement WTO agreements and initiatives directly affects our capacity to meet APEC’s goal of free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment,” she concluded.

For more information of the work of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment, visit this page.

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For further details, please contact:       

Masyitha Baziad +65 9751 2146 at [email protected]
Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at [email protected]