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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Meetings underway to develop APEC's vision of the future

The first working session was led by Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero and APEC SOM Chair Mathias Francke.

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Santiago, Chile, March 4, 2019.- Today was the first meeting this year of the high-level group known as APEC Vision Group (AVG), which is responsible for delivering the Forum's post-2020 vision. This meeting is among the technical meetings of the 21 Asia-Pacific economies that will culminate on March 7 and 8 with the First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1) of APEC Chile 2019.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero, SOM Chair Mathias Francke, and the AVG representatives from each APEC member economy. These representatives include various academic experts from the public and private sectors of the member economies, including Jorge Sahd, director of the Center for International Studies of Chile’s Universidad Católica.

Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Ampuero, who opened the session, emphasized the need to look to the future while being aware of the past; and to think about how APEC is ready to connect the lessons of the past with its vision of the future. "We need growth that is comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable. You have been entrusted with an enormous responsibility, and Chile, as host of APEC 2019, wants to help you achieve the best possible results," he said.

The APEC Vision Group was created with the aim of delineating a vision for APEC after the year 2020, which is the deadline for compliance with the goals set in 1994, known as the Bogor Goals. The latter establish the reduction of barriers to trade and investment in order to promote the free flow of goods, services and capital among the Asia-Pacific economies.

Jorge Sahd, Chile's representative at the meeting, said, "we have set an ambitious goal and we want the post-2020 vision to be the roadmap that guides Asia-Pacific trade and investment in the era of digital transformation, in the context of a world that is more uncertain and resistant to globalization. Our aim is for this region to remain the most dynamic and innovative on the planet."

As a result of the work carried out so far, in the last session in Papua New Guinea, the AVG defined the pillars that should nurture the post-2020 APEC vision, these being: digitization; disruptive technologies; digital divide; trade and investment issues, such as incomplete agendas, liberalization of services, tariff trends and market openings; economic and market fundamentals; inclusion and participation; and sustainability.

Over the course of 2019, Chile will host two AVG meetings, as part of SOM 1 and SOM 3, to be held in the Los Lagos Region of southern Chile. Furthermore, a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue will also be organized: this event is expected to generate a discussion on relevant topics to be included in the Post-2020 vision. The final draft of the report will be presented at the Leaders’ Meeting, which will be held on November 16 and 17.