Since 2004, APEC’s structural reform agenda—through the Leaders’ Agenda to Implement Structural Reform (LAISR) and the subsequent APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR)—has made a strong contribution to efforts to reduce behind-the-border barriers and promote balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth in the region. 

At the second SRMM in Cebu, APEC economies welcomed the progress made in implementing structural reform under the ANSSR initiative launched in 2010.  A midterm review of stocktake reports in 2013 found that most economies reported notable progress towards the goals they had adopted. The Committee’s Friends of the Chair (FoTC) (Corporate Law and Governance; Ease of Doing Business; Public Sector Governance; Regulatory Reform; and Strengthening Economic Legal Infrastructure), as well as the Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG),  supported these efforts through a number of workshops and discussions.

In Cebu, Ministers also recognised the importance of further intensifying work to:

remove barriers to and identifying new sources of growth;

promoting innovation;

raising productivity;

narrowing development gaps; and

steering the world economy towards a path of greater shared prosperity.

In this regard, the agreement reached by APEC economies in 2015 to endorse the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR 2016-2020) is a significant achievement.

APEC economies have devoted considerable effort to ANSSR, undertaking hundreds of individual projects in the area, complemented by significant efforts toward capacity building.

The Economic Committee has also carried out substantive work in regard to overcoming the Middle Income Trap through structural reform. In May 2015, the Committee held a seminar on the subject, and a second in 2016. The 2015 AEPR on Structural Reform and Innovation has also been a significant achievement in this regard. Policies to promote innovation are an important means of escaping the Middle Income Trap, raising long-term productivity and creating inclusive and sustainable growth.

In addition, the 2016 AEPR on Structural Reform and Services has also been widely commended.