The APEC Budget Management Committee (BMC) and APEC Member Economies have approved US$833,878 worth of new APEC projects intended to improve the capacity of APEC Member Economies to participate in free trade, increase transparency and improve regional security. See Fact Sheet on "Projects Approved by the First Meeting of the APEC Budget Management Committee for 2004".
At its first meeting for 2004, the BMC approved 14 project proposals that BMC Chair, Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, said are a direct response to directives laid out by APEC Leaders and Ministers in 2003.
"Priorities were set last year that must now be attended to through specific work programs and must be completed by the next APEC Leaders Meeting in November," Mr. Gongsakdi said at the conclusion of the meeting.
"This year there are a number of important projects relating to issues such as financing of small and medium enterprises, counter terrorism capacity building, increasing the use of paperless trading in business transitions and recognizing the credentials of foreign workers.
"These projects are the result of policy directions set by leaders and directly involve a wide range of government officers, business people and members of the public from around the APEC Region.
"The results of this work will be distributed throughout the APEC process for inclusion in the development of APEC standards and future policy initiatives."
Projects presented to the BMC are expected to comply with four APEC priorities that are part of the strategic roadmap for economic and technical cooperation activities. These are:
Integration into the global economy
Counter-terrorism capacity building
Promoting knowledge-based economies, and
Addressing the social dimensions of globalization
The BMC is made up of representatives of each of APEC's 21 Member Economies and meets twice each year.