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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

At Second Senior Officials’ Meeting

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue addresses future challenges for APEC

National and international experts from the public, private and academic sectors met today with the aim of contributing to APEC’s post-2020 vision in the areas of trade, digital economy and people-focused development. The dialogue was organized by APEC Chile 2019, along with the Center for International Studies of Universidad Católica de Chile and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC).

Viña del Mar, May 14, 2019. The meeting “APEC Towards 2020 and Beyond” was attended by former Chilean President and current Special Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific Region Eduardo Frei, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Carolina Valdivia, Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yáñez, and APEC Chile 2019 SOM Chair Mathias Francke, among other prominent national and international panelists.

The event was inaugurated by SOM Chair Mathias Francke, who highlighted the importance of this multi-stakeholder dialogue, underlining that APEC Chile 2019 is working hard on the opportunities and challenges for both the economies and citizens. The Chair of the APEC Senior Officials said that, “in order to collaborate in this process, which will be completed next year in Malaysia, this forum gives us the chance to openly discuss the opportunities in our region.”

Then, Ambassador Allan Wagner, Chair of APEC’s Vision Group (AVG), spoke about the importance of defining a joint roadmap with the member economies to address the upcoming challenges that APEC will face after 2020.

Next in line was the principal speaker of the event, Chilean Special Ambassador to the Asia-Pacific Region, Eduardo Frei, who in his speech highlighted Chile’s progress in the region. “Chile setting its sights on the Pacific in the early 1990s was undoubtedly a good move.” He recalled that this commercial strategy to open up trade with Asia came at a time when more than 90% of foreign trade depended solely on the United States, Europe and Latin America. Today, 73% of Chile’s total exports go to Asia-Pacific economies. “Twenty-five years later, we are absolutely certain that being an APEC member has been a key pillar in the development of Chile’s foreign policy,” he emphasized.

Vice Minister for Trade Rodrigo Yáñez referred to APEC’s post-2020 challenges in terms of trade: “Faced with the challenge of developing new rules so as to stay up to date with changing commercial realities, regional and plurilateral agreements have proliferated, including the Pacific Alliance. APEC, the Pacific Alliance, and other regional organizations play a fundamental role in strengthening the multilateral trading system and making it more efficient.”

The event ended with an interactive Q&A session on social networks, providing a forum for citizens to express what they expect from APEC’s post-2020 vision. The dialogue was moderated by the Director of the Center for International Studies of the Universidad Católica de Chile, Jorge Sahd, and included the participation of APEC’s Executive Director, Rebecca Santa María, Senator Lagos Weber, and PECC Co-Chair Ambassador Don Campbell.