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Saturday, May 18, 2019

APEC Chile 2019

Public-private event seeks economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region

The activity was organized by APEC Chile 2019 and moderated by Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade, Rodrigo Yáñez. Its objective was to discuss new ways for member economies to collaborate with the private sector.

Viña del Mar, May 18, 2019.- A panel was organized as part of the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT) in Chile’s Valparaíso region entitled “APEC 30 years: A public-private approach to regional economic integration”. The goal of the panel was to reflect on the types of collaboration in which APEC has engaged in the last 30 years, in order to make progress toward more inclusive, comprehensive and sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Organized by APEC Chile 2019 and moderated by Rodrigo Yáñez, Director-General of International Economic Affairs (DIRECON) and Vice Minister of Trade, the panel featured the Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification, Jim Carr; Member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Phil O`Reilly; APEC Executive Director, Rebecca Sta. María; and the President of the Chilean-American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham Chile), Sandra Guazzoti.

Chile's Foreign Affairs Minister and APEC 2019 MRT Chair, Roberto Ampuero, emphasized the importance of the public and private sectors working together. “We want to make a commitment to the private sector in order to create greater prosperity for the peoples of the region, but we also want to work together to address the main social and economic challenges of our time,” said Minister Ampuero.

Minister Carr from Canada opened the dialogue with remarks on the importance of integrating the private sector into the regional economy: “In Canada, when we ask ourselves why we make agreements, we say ‘to build bridges’, but we are not achieving anything if no one is crossing those bridges,” he said.

In this context, the ABAC member from New Zealand, Phil O’Reilly, asserted that there is still more to be done in terms of regional integration and that the region needs “ongoing dialogue moving forward because when we understand each other, we can do more.”

For 30 years, APEC has offered an appropriate context for open and productive discussions with different stakeholders in an environment that addresses ideas and promotes initiatives to further trade facilitation and economic integration.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Roberto Ampuero remarked “the only way to do this successfully is to work together with all the relevant stakeholders and adopt an approach that maximizes citizen participation.”

Director of Amcham Chile, Sandra Guazzotti noted that it is also important to learn about the difficulties that the private sector can face, including distrust from people. In order to address this global challenge, she suggested more inclusive and transparent business processes, adding that “APEC is available as a place to share experiences.”

The event was attended by ministers and officials from 21 APEC member economies, Chilean Senators Ricardo Lagos Weber and Kenneth Pugh, as well as some 40 guests from the business world.