Senior Officials Reshape Economies for New Era

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AREQUIPA, Peru, 14 May 2016 – Senior Officials from the 21 APEC member economies are meeting in Arequipa to take forward new collaborative policies for solidifying trade and growth while mitigating emerging sustainability challenges in an era of profound transition in the Pacific Rim. 

Focus is on crafting measures that expand economic opportunities emanating from closer markets and improve the lives and livelihoods of more people in the process. It counters external headwinds that have slowed trade growth – a force that has long powered economies and poverty reduction in APEC – and raises questions about the future direction of globalization in the region. 

Senior Officials are building on technical exchanges among APEC working groups here over the last ten days. Their actions set the tone for the 2016 APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on 17-18 May that will go the next step to boost regional trade and living standards. 

“There is shared recognition in APEC that the deepening interconnectivity between our economies must keep pace with changes impacting growth and the potential of our people to thrive,” said Ambassador Luis Quesada, 2016 Chair of the APEC Senior Officials. 

“We are modernizing trade and economic policy needed to lift the small businesses and labor forces who are the fundamental drivers of prosperity in the region,” he explained. “Our goal is to level the playing field in our economies and establish conditions that boost employment and social mobility for groups who have benefited less from globalization in the past.” 

Senior Officials are working to create an enabling environment for the development of services that support production and supply chains, and greater micro, small and medium enterprise participation in them, in coordination with regional business representatives. This includes facilitating increased use of electronic commerce and digital networks within the sector. 

They are also seeding channels for cross-border education and professional training in areas like these, and taking steps to better align them with the evolving needs of businesses to increase worker employability and productivity. 

“Skilled people who are the drivers of innovation are at the core of our strategy to enhance growth and socio-economic development,” concluded Ambassador Quesada. “Empowered labor forces can help to diversify our economies and foster more prosperous, consumption-minded households vital to the next phase of economic progress in our region.”