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APEC Senior Officials’ report to Trade Ministers recommends steps to inclusive growth

MRT official family photo

Boracay, the Philippines, 24 May 2015, – Yesterday, at the opening of the Ministers Related to Trade (MRT) meeting, APEC 2015 Chair of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Undersecretary Laura Q. Del Rosario reported on the results and recommendations of SOM on inclusive growth.

In her report, Del Rosario connected the dots from the APEC 2014 Beijing Mandate, which the Philippines as 2015 host inherited and continued, to ongoing efforts to bring about inclusive growth through the APEC 2015 priorities: Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda, Fostering MSMEs’ Participation in Regional and Global Markets, Investing in Human Capital Development, and Building Sustainable Communities.

The report on the Senior Officials’ and working group meetings from 10-21 May, collectively known as SOM2, outlined the recent gains on the 2014 mandate on work towards: the realization of a Free Trade Area for the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), APEC Connectivity by 2025, and Economic Growth through Innovation.

Del Rosario noted economies’ progress in physical infrastructure development, work on the Collective Strategic Study on Issues Related to the Realization of the FTAAP, as well as the widening of APEC’s discussions to cover Urbanization, the Internet Economy, Connectivity and Development of Rural Areas for Poverty Alleviation, and inclusive economic opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

Del Rosario’s report included recommendations to Trade Ministers on the 2015 priorities on inclusive growth. Recommendations include: to welcome the pursuit of an APEC Services Cooperation Framework aimed to provide a coherent and strategic direction to APEC’s crosscutting work on services; and to consider APEC’s current work on Structural Reform as the necessary ingredient to keep growth in APEC sustainable and dynamic.

The SOM Report to Trade Ministers closed with the SOM endorsement of The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs, for adoption by Ministers. Del Rosario conveyed the SOM message of strong support and commitment to the realization of the Action Agenda’s goals to expand the opportunities available to MSMEs by lowering barriers in customs, financing and capital lending, and in infrastructure requirements.

Senior Officials will again report to Trade Ministers at the APEC Joint Ministerial Meeting (Foreign Affairs and Trade) during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November in Manila.

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