Press Release : Concluding APEC Senior Officials Meeting 2017 (CSOM 2017) news3

Press Release : Concluding APEC Senior Officials Meeting 2017 (CSOM 2017)

                   H.E. Mr. Arthayudh Srisamoot, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the Concluding APEC Senior Officials Meeting 2017 in his capacity as Thailand’s APEC SOM Leader, held in Da Nang, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam during 6-7 November 2017.

                     The main issues discussed at the meeting were the outcome of the APEC work during 2017 and preparation on deliverables of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM), scheduled to be held on 8 November 2017, and the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM), to be held on 10 – 11 November 2017. The senior officials also endorsed the annual reports of APEC high-level committees such as the Committee on Trade and Investment, the Economic Committee and the SOM Steering Committee on EcoTech. Trade, capacity building, human resource development, and SMEs are areas to be highlighted, among many other areas.

                  APEC officials reiterated their objectives to promote trade facilitation as evidenced by several frameworks, including the APEC Cross-Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework and the Monitoring Framework for the APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan Phase II 2017-2020 (SCFAP II). With regard to the latter Framework, vulnerabilities that should be of focus in order for the overarching goal to be achieved are as followings: (1) lack of coordinated border management and underdeveloped border clearance and procedures, (2) inadequate quality and lack of access to transportation infrastructure and services, (3) unreliable logistics services and high logistical costs, (4) limited regulatory cooperation and best practices, and (5) underdeveloped policy and regulatory infrastructure for e-commerce.

                Furthermore, APEC has carried out several capacity building projects such as the 3rd Action Plan Framework for the REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) between 2018-2020 and the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap.

                APEC Senior Officials are of the opinion that human capital development is essential to economic structural reform and endorsed the 2017 APEC Economic Policy Report (AEPR) on Structural Reform and Human Capital Development.

                   APEC member economies also agree that SMEs play an important role as economic drivers. Supporting Green SMEs will help lead to long-term sustainable and inclusive growth. In this connection, APEC Senior Officials appreciated Thailand and Peru for their leading roles in developing the APEC Strategy for Green, Sustainable and Innovative MSMEs and will submit the Strategy for the consideration of the APEC Ministers.

                 On a related note, APEC Senior Officials endorsed Infrastructure and Structural Reforms as a topic of the 2018 APEC Economic Policy Report and will submit this topic for the consideration of the APEC Ministers.