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Monday, September 2, 2019

Senior Officials meet to finalize the technical stage and begin preparations for the APEC leaders' meeting

During the meeting, the work of different groups was reviewed along with the agreed deliverables. Participants also approved the creation of the new digital group and began to prepare for the Leaders’ Meeting.

Puerto Varas, August 30, 2019. With a focus on the major issues that will form part of the upcoming APEC Leaders’ Meeting, such as the promotion of free trade, support for the multilateral trade system, regional economic integration and the reform of the World Trade Organization, the APEC Third Seniors Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) concluded today in Puerto Varas.

For more than two weeks, over 2,000 delegates from the 21 APEC member economies discussed priority issues, held dialogues in an effort to reach consensus and approved various initiatives proposed by Chile.

“The results from Puerto Varas are very positive. These have been three very productive weeks and we have produced two very important deliverables for Chile: the roadmap on illegal fishing and the roadmap on marine waste. In addition, during the meeting today we approved the terms of reference for APEC’s new digital group, which will work on a very broad agenda related to digital issues and the Internet,” said APEC Chile 2019 SOM Chair Mathias Francke.

Mathias Francke added that the meeting was key for “identifying some of the topics of the next Leaders’ Meeting and determining what the Leaders’ Declaration process will look like. We all agreed that it should be ambitious, concise, substantive and include clear messages about what APEC is doing in regard to inclusive, sustainable and comprehensive growth.”

During the SOM, the Senior Officials also held a lunch meeting with Women and Gender Equity Undersecretary Carolina Cuevas to discuss the women in the economy roadmap, which is another proposal put forward by Chile. They discussed the economies’ concerns and what is needed to approve this initiative.

They also analyzed plans for the events that will be held prior to November, such as SME Week, the Women and the Economy Forum (WEF), Energy Week and the Finance Ministers’ Meeting.

During the previous two weeks of work, the Food Security Ministerial Meeting took place. Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker led the discussion, which focused on best practices that will allow the region to create integrated systems to ensure that food reaches all people in the region. Meanwhile, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich and Undersecretary Paula Daza participated in the High-Level Dialogue on Health, during which experts from the 21 APEC economies discussed the impacts of aging on societies and the need to address it from a perspective of active, healthy aging.

Another meeting with positive results was the APEC Vision Group (AVG), which finalized its Report on APEC's Post-2020 Vision. The group, which consists of 21 experts selected by each of APEC’s member economies, reached consensus regarding a text that proposes a vision for the future of the entity in areas such as digitalization, disruptive technologies, the digital divide, trade and investment, economic foundations and market, inclusion and participation, and environmental, food and energy sustainability.

Chile also led the Services summit, which was focused on giving a final push towards the liberalization of services in the Asia-Pacific Region.

During this period, 15 public “Citizen APEC” workshops were also organized. These events were designed to share APEC’s work in areas such as rural development, biotechnology, customs facilitation and marine waste management with business owners, students and members of the public. The activities were held in the cities of Ancud, Coquimbo, Coyhaique, Osorno, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Santiago, Valdivia and Victoria.