19 May 2015 — Representatives from both the public and private sectors of APEC economies participated in an inclusive discourse on services during the Public-Private Dialogue on Services held at the sidelines of the APEC Senior Officials Meeting and Related Meetings on 17 May 2015 in Boracay, Aklan, Philippines.
Invited speakers discussed the key role of services in enabling trade in agriculture, as one of the three sectors of focus for the PPD. In particular, how services can contribute to ensuring modern and efficient agricultural production processes, as well as the smooth movement of agriculture from producers to consumers, i.e. taking agricultural products from the farm to the fork (market) in the most efficient way.
According to Dr. Ian Ferguson, Departmental Science Advisor from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, services enable value creation and upgrading as it fosters innovation and regulation, even in agriculture. Adding value in the supply chain is made possible through increased raw product value; production efficiency and sustainability; and minimized food loss/waste. Dr Ferguson, however, cautioned how innovation is commonly in conflict with regulation, as the latter fails to keep up with the introduction of modern agricultural techniques.
Agricultural services are inherently science-based, hence, receives very little attention. It is, thus, emphasized that science and technology be transported from developed to developing countries.
The session also highlighted the vital role of a modern and efficient supply chain for businesses that seek access to regional and global markets. Indeed, enhanced trade in services is critical to building the capability and coherence required to achieve regional economic integration and enable all economies and business to participate