The APEC meeting focuses on qualitative development in the Asia-Pacific region

JAKARTA (ANTARA) – Senior officials from 21 APEC economies met in Lima, Peru to develop concrete actions on trade, investment, digitization and sustainable development with a focus on delivering quality development for the people of the Asia-Pacific.

„We are committed to fostering an environment conducive to inclusive and sustainable development for all member economies,” said Ambassador Carlos Vasquez, the 2024 Chairman of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting, according to a release from the APEC Senior Officials Meeting. Saturday.

Ambassador Vásquez reiterated that the thematic priorities set by Peru for this year reflect the commitment of member economies to addressing the critical issues facing the APEC region.

These include promoting trade and investment for inclusive growth, leveraging innovation and digitization to drive the transition to a formal economy, as well as advancing sustainable and resilient growth.

„Each priority responds to critical issues of mutual interest to our economies in the area of ​​trade and investment,” Vásquez said.

„We aim to revitalize discussions on a new vision for the Free Trade Area of ​​the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and foster greater cooperation to address trade-related challenges,” he added.

Nearly 1,500 delegates participated in several meetings in Lima over the past two weeks to share best practices and understand how to achieve quality growth in the Asia-Pacific region, understand the urgent need to address current global challenges, and future-proof the region. .

At the first APEC Senior Officials Meeting on March 7 and 8, 2024, senior officials discussed recent developments in the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the outcomes of the recently concluded 13th WTO Ministerial Conference.

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Senior officials expressed support for Peru's 2024 priorities, which include accelerating APEC activities, reviewing key areas and measures that can be integrated into a road map for their domestic informal economy and transition to a formal and global economy.

According to a recent policy brief by the APEC Policy Support Unit, the size of the informal economy in the APEC region is estimated to be 13.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, with the average income of informal workers in many APEC economies being 40 to 67 percent lower than that of formal workers.

„Informality is happening all over the world, and as part of our efforts to advance inclusive growth, Peru, for the first time, has brought this topic to the table,” said Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat.

„Earlier this week, we asked experts and member economies for their views on how APEC can advance normalization, including promoting an innovative mix of policies and strategies to improve skills, improve confidence in institutions, improve the business environment, and increase access to capital, markets and technology, It also improves social security,” he added.

On International Women's Day, Ambassador Vasquez highlighted the continued work within APEC not only to recognize the important role of women in the economy, but also to ensure their full economic empowerment.

“The full potential of women's contribution to the Asia-Pacific economy remains untapped. In this regard, women's economic empowerment and greater inclusion of women in the digital economy are high on APEC's agenda,” he said.

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Vásquez urged member economies to continue advancing the La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Development, driving policy actions across APEC, promoting inclusive economic growth and encouraging women's active participation in the economy.

„Let us remember that our joint efforts are aimed at improving the lives of people in our region,” he noted.

„Only through collaboration, innovation and a shared vision for the future can we overcome the challenges we face and seize the opportunities ahead,” Vasquez added.

Senior officials will meet again in Arequipa in May this year to review the progress of the work. Peru will host the APEC Ministerial Meeting for Trade (MRT) and the first joint MRT and Ministerial Meeting for Women Ministers in May.

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