The APEC Economic Committee was established in 1994 to promote structural reform and strengthen APEC's capability in the analysis of long-term macroeconomic trends and studies of microeconomic issues.
In 2021, APEC structural reform ministers endorsed the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EAASR), which will guide APEC’s work on structural reform until the end of 2025. The EAASR draws its lessons from former structural reform programs, and seeks to contribute to APEC’s overarching goal to ensure an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations, through measures in line with the following four pillars:
- Creating an enabling environment for open, transparent, and competitive markets
- Boosting business recovery and resilience against future shocks
- Ensuring that all groups in society have equal access to opportunities for more inclusive, sustainable growth, and greater well-being
- Harnessing innovation, new technology, and skills development to boost productivity and digitalization
Moreover, the EAASR encourages economies to adopt the following three approaches to promote structural reform for inclusive growth:
- Delivering the six core structural reforms (competition policy and law; strengthening economic and legal infrastructure; ease of doing business; regulatory reform; public sector governance; corporate law and governance) to improve market functioning and transparency
- Implementing specific market reforms to improve innovation and competitiveness of business and achieve pro-inclusion benefits
- Adopting a holistic approach to structural reform which combines core reforms, specific market reforms and broader policies to boost productivity and economic resilience
The Economic Committee meets twice a year and works closely with other relevant APEC fora.
The Economic Committee held the third Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM), hosted by New Zealand, on 16 June 2021. Ministers endorsed the SRMM Statement as well as the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (2021–2025) and the third APEC Ease of Doing Business Action Plan (2020–2025).
The latest meeting of the Economic Committee took place virtually on 21 and 22 February 2022. Members discussed regional trends analysis, business priorities for structural reform, the development of the next APEC Economic Policy Report (AEPR) and implementation of EAASR. Policy dialogues were held on Tripartism, a follow-up activity for the 2021 AEPR on Structural Reform and the Future of Work, as well as on the APEC Online Dispute Resolution Collaborative Framework. The next Economic Committee meeting is scheduled to take place in August 2023.
In 2004, APEC Leaders endorsed an ambitious work program called the Leaders' Agenda to Implement Structural Reform (LAISR). The agenda covered five areas for structural policy reform: regulatory reform, competition policy, public sector governance, corporate governance, and strengthening economic and legal infrastructure.
Building on the work in these five areas, APEC's structural reform agenda was expanded beyond the LAISR's priority areas through the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) initiative, launched in 2010, and the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR), launched in 2015. In 2021 APEC structural reform ministers endorsed the Enhanced APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (EAASR), which will guide APEC’s work on structural reform until the end of 2025.