With most of the world's largest seaports and busiest airports located in APEC economies, the APEC Secretariat Executive Director has called for greater government and business cooperation to protect port assets from terrorist threats.
In a speech to the Lloyds DCN Port and Maritime Security Conference in Sydney this afternoon, Ambassador Piamsak Milintachinda said investment by the private sector in regional security also pays dividends through efficiency improvements.
"Increasing port security through the implementation of new technologies often results in increased efficiencies in the processing of goods, services and passengers," said Ambassador Milintachinda at the conference.
"For example, the introduction of paperless trading, or the electronic lodgment and sharing of shipment information, not only enables a higher rate of detection for questionable or suspicious transport movements but also reduces transaction costs.
"Current estimates are that the adoption of paperless trading for goods shipped between APEC economies would deliver cost savings to regional business of around three per cent, or US$60 billion, each year.
"While APEC recognises that considerable investment will be needed to fully implement the reforms required, it is clear that the opportunities exist for business and government partnerships that will increase security and boost trade."
Speaking at the conference that was being held at the Sheraton Darling Harbour in Sydney, Ambassador Milintachinda praised the value of the conference for its contribution to promoting secure trade and the economic health of the region.
"Meetings such as these facilitate the co-ordination between public and private entities at the national and international level," Ambassador Milintachinda said.
"This cooperation is essential for developing strategies to counteract terrorist activities and reduce the threat that terrorism poses to the regional economy.
"It is a pleasure to be at this conference in Sydney which is a major gateway for Australian trade, and like many Australian towns and cities, has a rich maritime tradition."