APEC will focus on taking concrete measures to address challenges facing the global economy as its sub-fora and Senior Officials meet for the first time in 2012.
The cluster of events within APEC’s First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) and related meetings opened on 30 January in Moscow with the core mission of identifying practical initiatives in 2012 to substantiate the priorities Russia as APEC host economy has set forth for this year:
- Liberalizing trade and investment and expanding regional economic integration
- Strengthening food security
- Establishing reliable supply chains
- Cooperating to foster innovative growth
“We continue to pursue the ambitious goal to build a seamless regional economy that will ensure long-term prosperity,” said Gennady Ovechko, Ambassador-at-large and Senior Official of Russia for APEC.
“For APEC in 2012, this means taking concrete measures to further boost trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific and to inclusively and comprehensively respond to rising global economic and financial challenges,” Amb. Ovechko said.
Under the theme “Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper,” APEC will forge ahead with addressing trade and investment issues, including aligning technical regulations and standards, to make it easier, faster and cheaper to do business in the region.
APEC will also focus on improving regional and global food security by supporting sustainable development in the agricultural sector. APEC will also take steps to raise the quality and safety of food products, enhance conformity to food safety standards and ensure a more inclusive food supply for vulnerable groups.
“APEC economies are vulnerable to food security risks, including the frequent threat of natural disasters in the region,” Amb. Ovechko said.
“However APEC is well placed to help improve regional and global food security, with its members accounting for half of world grain production and including major exporters and importers of agricultural products.”
On the third priority, APEC will continue with key initiatives aimed at improving the supply chain to reduce the time, cost and uncertainty of moving goods and services in the region, with a goal to increase performance by 10% by 2015.
APEC will also contribute to the development of innovation strategies and policies of its 21 members, recognizing that fostering innovation is important to increasing productivity and economic growth.
APEC will also develop measures to foster cooperation on major innovation projects related to strengthening trans-border interaction and networking among businesses, academia and government institutions and addressing barriers to investment in high technology sectors.
Up to now, delegates have covered issues in such areas as e-commerce, life science innovation, anti-corruption, business mobility, food security, mining, health, intellectual property rights protection and chemical industry.
Looking ahead, APEC’s working groups and task forces are holding meetings on their many initiatives and projects for 2012 until February 19 when Senior Officials meet. Afterward, a press briefing on progress made in Moscow will be held at that time.
More detail about the priorities for this year and a summary of APEC’s work last year can be found in the APEC Outcomes and Outlook 2011/2012 booklet on the APEC website.
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