Wednesday, December 12 2018
In Former National Congress Building,
APEC Chile 2019 priorities presented at International Symposium
Santiago, December 12, 2018. After the launch of APEC Chile 2019 in a ceremony held at La Moneda Palace presided over by President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique, the Senior Officials (SOM) from the 21 APEC member economies, made their way to the Former National Congress Building to take part in the APEC symposium on Chile's priorities, accompanied by Chilean and international guests.
In his opening address to the symposium, Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero noted that "hosting APEC gives Chile a unique opportunity to promote our commitment to free trade and investment as a tool for sustainable and inclusive growth in the region,” adding that "during today's symposium, we will have the opportunity to discuss the priorities chosen by Chile, which will guide the work of APEC in 2019. Our APEC CHILE 2019 team has managed to gather together an excellent panel of experts that will address some of these priorities."
The priorities for the year that Chile is hosting the forum are: Digital Society; Integration 4.0; Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth; and Sustainable Growth.
In the first panel discussion on Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth, moderated by Carolyn Robert, Country Representative in Chile of the Inter-American Development Bank, the speakers Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Center, Claudio Muñoz, President of Telefónica Chile and Mia Gous, general manager at Minera Spence, BHP, talked about the imminent changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution, the digitalization and automation of work and what new challenges they represent for the participation of women in the international market and trade.
The following panel on Integration 4.0 was moderated by Ana Novik, who is the Head of the Investment Division at the OECD, and the participants were Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization; Karina Fernandez-Stark, Senior Research Analyst at the Global Value Chains Center at Duke University, and the ambassador of Australia to Chile, Robert Fergusson. The session underlined the need to create synergies between the APEC economies, especially in the areas of Global Value Chains, mobility of talent, the internationalization of SMEs, and other trade facilitation measures, in order to achieve greater efficiency in borders and logistics within the framework of intelligent trade.
The event continued with the panel on the Digital Society, which was moderated by Anayda Frisneda González, LATAM Public Sector General Manager for Microsoft, involved the participation of Phil O'Reilly, a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) representing New Zealand; Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy; and Joshua P. Meltzer, senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution.
The conversation focused on the rapid advancement and evolution of the digital society and its impacts on various areas, including infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, business regulations, the development of human capital and the future of work.
In his closing speech, the Vice Minister of Trade, Rodrigo Yáñez, said that "APEC was created to be a forum for commercial economic integration, in which Chile now has the opportunity to exercise leadership. Thus the expectations are that APEC will once again be at the center of dialogue, trade liberalization and openness, and that it will also be able to work on objectives that translate into benefits for people: and always thinking about privileged access to Asia-Pacific."
Informal Senior Officials' Meeting
Tomorrow, December 13, the Informal Meeting of Senior Officials (ISOM) will be held, beginning with the SOM’s Retreat to the "Rare Books Library" at the Former National Congress Building, which will include the participation of the SOM Chair, Mathias Francke, and the SOM Chile, Benjamín Salas. The SOM Chair underlined that at tomorrow's meeting "we will review the main outcomes of APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 and organize the work for the coming year. In addition, we will present the priorities that have been set by Chile to the SOMs for their approval, and the main deliverables that are expected for 2019."
The APEC member economies are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; The United States and Viet Nam.