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Monday, July 29, 2019

Hangzhou, China

APEC Chile SOM Chair participates in third meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council

Mathias Francke also took part in the inauguration of the APEC China CEO Forum and then traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials about APEC Chile priorities and the upcoming Leaders’ Meeting, which will be held in November in Santiago.

July 26, 2019.- APEC Chile 2019 SOM Chair Mathias Francke participated in the third meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Hangzhou, China, as well as the inauguration of the APEC China CEO Forum and events related to ABAC 3. He also met with local and national officials during a subsequent visit to Beijing. All of this is part of the development of APEC Chile 2019.

During the opening ceremony of the Forum, which was attended by over 700 Chinese businesspeople, Mathias Francke highlighted the priorities of APEC Chile 2019, the progress made thus far and the road to the Leaders’ Meeting. He focused on Chile’s goal of expanding cooperation and convergence between the private sector and APEC region governments. Mr. Francke invited attendees to a private dialogue on regional economic integration on August 29 in Beijing as part of the fifth version of Chile Week China, which is being organized by the Office of the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations (SUBREI).

Guests at the China CEO Forum included Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, who Mathias Francke invited to visit Chile and to participate in the CEO Summit to be held from November 14 to 16. Later, together with the ABAC representatives, they visited Alibaba’s headquarters, which has become a giant in the area of e-commerce.

The ABAC meeting was led by Chilean business owner and 2019 ABAC Chair Richard Von Appen. Also present were Rosario Navarro, Alfonso Swett and Eduardo Chadwick, all of whom are members of the Chilean chapter of the Council. The SOM Chair reported on the latest progress with the APEC year, particularly the results of the first two SOMs, which were held in Santiago and Viña del Mar. He highlighted the fact that the declaration of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade developed in Viña del Mar in mid-May was the result of a consensus being reached for the first time in several years. The ABAC participants recognized the importance and significance of the ministerial declaration because APEC again has placed free trade and support for the WTO and the rules at the center of its work.

On Wednesday, July 23, Francke participated in a breakfast meeting on the post-2020 vision and then on a panel on women’s economic empowerment, the main aspects of the APEC Chile Women priority and the initiatives that are being developed.

Meetings with Chinese officials

In Beijing, the SOM Chair met with Vice Minister of Commerce Yu Jianhua and expressed Chile’s interest in crafting a clear message in favor of free trade and rejecting unilateral and protectionist measures, reaffirming the declaration developed during the meeting of trade ministers. Vice Minister Yu shares this interest and offered all of China’s support for reaching consensus regarding a Leaders’ Declaration in November. 

Mr. Francke  also met with Zhang Xianliang, Director of the Fisheries and Fishery Administration Bureau of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. They talked about Chile’s proposal for a roadmap in APEC for addressing illegal fishing, which has significant economic costs for regulated fishing and affects the sustainability of marine resources. The two officials shared their view of the issue and agreed to work together to achieve an ambitious result that complements the efforts that APEC economies are already making in this area.

He and China’s Director-General of the Bureau of International Cooperation, Cyberspace Administration Qi Xiaoxia discussed the Digital Society priority of APEC Chile 2019. Mr. Franke stated that he received full support for Chile from the Director-General and that she indicated that there is interest in working within the forum and bilaterally on themes such as Smart Cities. The Chargé d'Affaires for the Chilean Embassy in China, José Miguel González, has promised to follow up on these matters. The meeting also included an analysis of the need for the APEC digital agenda to represent a balance between the opportunities and challenges of the digital era and the policy spaces that the economies wish to provide.

Concluding his schedule in the Chinese capital, APEC Chile 2019’s SOM Chair met with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaouxu, who reiterated China’s support for Chile’s year hosting APEC. They discussed various aspects - including both the logistics and the substance - of the upcoming APEC 2019 Leaders’ Meeting, which will be held on November 16 and 17 in Santiago.

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