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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

APEC answers questions from citizens

In the context of the Second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) in Viña del Mar, the 2019 Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue entitled “APEC Towards 2020 and Beyond” was held in order to generate a discussion among the various sectors involved in defining APEC’s post-2020 vision.

The meeting included the interactive session “What do you expect from APEC?,” which was designed to address the concerns expressed by the public regarding the largest economic forum of the Asia-Pacific region and its impact on society. Questions were gathered through social media platforms and then asked at the meeting.

The activity, which was moderated by the Director of the Universidad Católica’s Center for International Research, Jorge Sahd, featured responses from APEC Executive Director Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria, Ambassador and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Co-chair Don Campbell, and Senator Ricardo Lagos Weber.

How does APEC benefit students?

Don Campbell, the Co-Chair of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), responded “one of the major things that is happening is that over one million students from the Asia-Pacific region are studying outside of their home countries and within the region. This is facilitated by the greater mobility of people among APEC economies and connectivity between people and institutions. This is an important theme for APEC, and the more mobility that we can give to students, the more opportunities they will have.

What opportunities does APEC provide for entrepreneurs?

APEC Executive Director Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria said, “there are currently several possibilities for small- and medium-sized enterprises. We are going to provide the opportunities that entrepreneurs need to be able to work globally and we will help them to have access to the market. There are APEC events that allow for best practices and experiences from its various economies to be shared to highlight how we can work with SMEs and giving us the chance to analyze the types of policies that can be implemented to help them.”

What is the greatest challenge at present in the area of international trade?

Senator Ricardo Lagos Weber observed, “Trade is currently coming up against two things: the war between two superpowers and being unable to achieve progress. It has been difficult to reconcile this at the level of domestic and international priorities. I believe that we should implement the necessary rules and adopt certain policies so we can understand what is happening with some powers in the short-term and continue to do the work of APEC.”


APEC Executive Director Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria concluded the event by reflecting on the importance of including all sectors of society in the APEC agenda so that they will be part of our increasingly connected world.