Economic Committee

As tariffs have declined in the APEC region, attention has gradually shifted to the structural and regulatory obstacles that inhibit cross-border trade and investment and that create behind-the-border barriers to doing business.

The Economic Committee (EC) works to remove these obstacles by promoting structural reform within APEC. Structural reform consists of improvements made to institutional frameworks, regulations and government policies so that the efficient functioning of markets is supported and behind-the-border barriers are reduced. Such work is expected to generate significant benefits and remains relevant for many current economic policy debates, including the issues related to the prospects of avoiding the middle income trap.

In 2004, APEC Leaders endorsed an ambitious work programme called the Leaders' Agenda to Implement Structural Reform 2010 (LAISR). The agenda covers 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 rel="noopener noreferrer" areas through the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) initiative launched in 2010. rel="noopener noreferrer" In 2015, APEC Ministers endorsed a Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR), which will guide APEC’s work on structural reform until 2020.

The RAASR aims for a robust, comprehensive and ambitious structural reform agenda to reduce inequality and stimulate growth in APEC economies, and contribute to APEC’s overarching goal to promote balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth, through measures in line with the following three pillars:

  1. more open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets;
  2. deeper participation in those markets by all segments of society, including MSMEs, women, youth, older workers and people with disabilities;
  3. sustainable social policies that promote the above mentioned objectives, enhance economic resiliency, and are well-targeted, effective and non‑discriminatory.

The EC was established in 1994 and meets twice a year. The EC also works closely with other relevant APEC fora including the Competition Policy and Law Group (which sits under EC)the Committee on Trade and Investment, and CTI’s Group on Services. The Terms of Establishment for the EC are available on this page (see link to the right). 

Last page update: September 2017

Current Activities

The EC supports APEC priorities by working on the implementation of the five-year Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR) mandate, endorsed by the Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM) held in Cebu, the Philippines, in September 2015.

The latest meeting of the EC took place in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 25-26 August 2017. The report from the meeting can be found here.

Under RAASR, the EC is progressing work under five areas: structural reform and inclusive growth; structural reform and innovation; structural reform and services; tools for structural reform; and new directions for structural reform. An update from 2017 on the EC’s progress under each of these areas is available here.

The EC’s annual economy policy reports can be found here


Related News

See all news


Economic Committee

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.

Related Publications

See all publications