“We are committed to a new vision for APEC, one where we achieve full integration and where sectors that have lagged behind can benefit from integration, such as small- and medium-sized businesses and women,” said President Sebastian Piñera at the launch of APEC 2019 at La Moneda on Wednesday.
Chile is one of the most open countries in the world and has free trade agreements that connect and link it with over two-thirds of the world’s population and with more than four-fifths of global GDP. Chile will host APEC in 2019 under the theme “Connecting People, Building the Future” to provide inspiration for APEC 2019.
In his remarks to APEC Senior Officials, President Piñera described Chile’s vision to defend and promote an open economy and free trade within APEC and around the whole world and its opposition to any type of protectionism and all forms of unfair competition. He said the region’s main risk is obsolescence because of the speed of change.
“During these times of revolution, technological change, and information and knowledge societies, we must have the ability to join in APEC’s great project to create a large free trade zone among the 21 economies that make up this forum,” said President Piñera.
“An efficient and modern international trade organization is needed, one with clear and transparent rules; one that will prevent us from veering off on the detours that tend to happen in the areas of integration and free trade.”
In response to consultations with APEC member economies and civil society, Chile is paying attention to diversity while simultaneously focusing on shared principles and values.
To address these issues, President Piñera announced Chile’s priorities for APEC 2019: 1) to take control of the technological revolution: 2) move towards integration 4.0 - having uniform procedures and regulations to ease trade; 3) to aim for inclusive growth, where everyone benefits from integration and progress, in particular women and small and medium enterprises; and 4) take charge of one of the greatest problems facing humanity today: climate change and global warming.
“Hosting APEC provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to multilateralism, an open economy, free trade, the free movement of investment, and the free movement of resources, and to turn them into basic tools for achieving our goal of comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable development,” continued President Piñera.
On Thursday, APEC Senior Officials agreed to carry these priorities forward in 2019.
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