Protecting shipping and aviation from terrorist attack will be among key issues addressed by senior regional business and government representatives at the Second STAR Conference on March 5-6 in Viña del Mar, Chile.
At the first STAR (Secure Trade in the APEC Region) Conference in Bangkok last year, delegates from APEC's 21 Member Economies drew attention to a number of crucial issues that have since become a part of the APEC counter terrorism agenda.
The STAR Conference brings together a range of executives and government officials to identify both impediments and solutions relating to APEC's twin counter terrorism goals of promoting trade efficiency and ensuring security.
Acting Chair of the APEC Counter Terrorism Task Force (CTTF), Mr Hirouki Minami, said that as one of the greatest threats to the economic health of the region, terrorism is an issue of great importance to the business community as well as policy makers.
"Business and government must work together so that we can protect our economies from terrorist attack, while at the same time ensuring increased security measures do not undermine free trade," Mr Minami said.
"Ensuring shipping lanes and port facilities are not vulnerable to attack, installing appropriate screening measures at airports and protecting aircraft in-flight are key issues for the economic health for the region."
Mr Minami said the STAR Conference will also look at topics relating to the movement of people and finances across borders.
"Ensuring legitimate tourist and business travelers are able to travel freely through entry ports while having measures in place to detect terrorists and criminals are important subjects for the conference.
"It is also important that legitimate investors can move money freely across borders while ensuring sufficient measures are in place to detect the flow of terrorist finances.
"The STAR Conference gives the business community an avenue to provide their input on government counter-terrorism policies that impact upon their business.
"This is one of the best regional opportunities to bring business leaders together with government decision makers to ensure government policy works with business needs."
The Keynote Speaker at the STAR Conference will be Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Chile.
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