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Annex A - Promoting Effective, Non-Discriminatory, and Market-Driven Innovation Policy

Encouraging innovation – the process by which individuals and businesses generate and commercialize new ideas – is critical to the current and future prosperity of APEC economies.  Our collective economic growth and competitiveness depend on all our peoples’ and economies’ capacity to innovate.  Open and non-discriminatory trade and investment policies that foster competition, promote access to technology, and encourage the creation of innovations and capacity to innovate necessary for growth are critical aspects of any successful innovation strategy.  Therefore, we as APEC Leaders agree to:


  1. Develop and maintain an open economy that allows the flow of capital, people, ideas, goods, and services across borders in ways that ensure competition, enhance productivity, and foster growth across the Asia-Pacific region;
  2. Enable the development and adoption of new and innovative business models by maintaining regulatory systems, including licensing regimes, that support competitive markets;
  3. Maintain regulatory systems that are transparent and non-discriminatory, provide due process, and include opportunities for early and meaningful stakeholder engagement, consistent with the APEC Leaders’ Transparency Standards;
  4. Promote open investment, including by working to remove restrictions on foreign direct investment, consistent with the APEC Non-Binding Investment Principles and the APEC Investment Facilitation Action Plan;
  5. Encourage the use and participation in the development of voluntary, market-led, and global standards that promote innovation, competition, and create global markets for products and services;
  6. Ensure that technical regulations and requirements serve legitimate public policy objectives (e.g., health, security, safety, and environment), and do not serve to stifle innovation, limit access to technologies, reduce competition, or create unnecessary trade barriers;
  7. Develop and implement technical regulations and requirements, taking into consideration the APEC-OECD Integrated Checklist on Regulatory Reform;
  8. Provide effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights to create a climate in which innovators, including small and medium-sized businesses, are encouraged to invest in the research, development, and commercialization of leading-edge technologies and promote the dissemination of technologies and services throughout APEC economies;
  9. Refrain from adopting or maintaining measures that make the location of the development or ownership of intellectual property a condition for eligibility for government procurement preferences, without prejudice to economies' positions in the WTO;
  10. Ensure that the terms and conditions of transfer of technology, production processes, and other proprietary information are left to the agreement between individual enterprises, consistent with WTO rules;
  11. Promote government procurement policies that are transparent, non-discriminatory, openly pro-competitive, and performance-based, consistent with the APEC Non-Binding Principles on Government Procurement;
  12. Implement information and communication technology policies, including those related to data privacy and security, in such a way as to minimize the trade-distorting impact of and promote greater global alignment in those policies;
  13. Effectively and efficiently manage spectrum so as to enable innovative use of this resource, avoiding undue limitations on applications and technologies that utilize spectrum, other than as necessary to mitigate harmful interference; and
  14. Encourage cooperation and interaction among researchers and laboratories, including through joint research and development, in order to accelerate innovations that can be applied to address the common economic and other challenges APEC economies face.

We instruct officials to develop capacity-building activities that will further assist economies to promote effective, non-discriminatory, and market-driven innovation policy.