In 2015, APEC Leaders endorsed a forward-thinking initiative, called the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth (ASSQG). It mandated action in areas that APEC has not extensively discussed as a forum: formal and informal institutions, trust and social cohesion, and addressing climate change. This report is the final assessment of the performance of APEC economies and fora in implementing this initiative.
It finds that APEC economies and fora have made progress in a number of areas that are relevant to pursuing quality growth. Many APEC economies have improved regulatory quality and transparency; enhanced economic participation of women, minorities and indigenous peoples, as well as other poor and vulnerable groups; and introduced mitigation and adaptive measures to reduce carbon emissions. APEC fora have also implemented initiatives to improve regulatory quality and trade facilitation around the region; promote greater innovative and digital entrepreneurship in order to improve upward mobility; and promote more environmentally sustainable practices in the international trading system. However, gaps and areas for improvement still remain. Achievements in improving governance and fighting corruption have been recognised, but improvements in institutional integrity and judicial independence are perceived to have stagnated. Economic participation and overall affluence have increased, but income gaps have widened while public trust has been eroded by the proliferation of misinformation and fake news. Renewable energy use has increased and growth of carbon emissions has slowed, but many economies are not on track to meet their commitments on climate change.