Chile has achieved a lot during their year as host of APEC, said the Chair of APEC Senior Officials Mathias Francke.
“An incremental approach brings results,” quipped Francke when he met with stakeholders at the invitation of the National Center for APEC in Washington D.C. on Tuesday as part of a regular briefing to the business community. The event was co-hosted by the Council of the Americas.
“We keep the ball moving forward,” he explained. “This is all collective work. It’s collaborative.”
Chile’s priorities focus on people and how APEC benefits its people, create closer collaboration with the private sector, and take a back-to-basics approach focused on non-binding cooperation.
APEC focuses on the progress the forum has made on the four priorities set by Chile this year. They include advancing regional integration, or Integration 4.0; fostering a digital society; empowering women entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises; and promoting sustainable growth.
Francke highlighted a set of policy recommendations for the region that will address critical challenges for APEC economies. These include addressing issues such as marine debris and plastic waste in rivers and oceans; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and women’s participation in the economy.
Francke also cited as APEC Chile’s achievements the preliminary collaboration on skilled visa programs, initiatives that would help SMEs join the digital economy, efforts to boost the participation of women workers in non-traditional sectors such as mining, and closer dialogue with the private sector.
“Part of a broader agenda, the objective was to listen to the priorities, views and expectations of the private sector ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting,” said Francke.
After Francke concludes his U.S. visit, which includes meetings at the White House, he returns to Chile where preparation for APEC Economic Leaders’ Week is ramping up. In October, Chile will host the Women and the Economy Forum and the Finance Ministers’ Meeting.
In Santiago later this year, APEC will focus attention on APEC’s evolution in the last thirty years and its vision for the decades ahead.
“APEC turns 30 this year. We should look back at our achievements and what are the origins of the APEC achievement,” said Francke.
“We need to look at what we communicate and how we communicate, and that’s a big role for the private sector,” he said. “We move ahead step by step.”
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