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Friday, March 8, 2019

First Senior Officials’ Meeting

Successful conclusion of the first round of APEC Chile 2019 meetings in Santiago

During the talks, presided over by SOM Chair Mathias Francke, the APEC economies supported the Chilean initiative to create “The Santiago Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.”

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Santiago, March 8, 2019.- Today, with a clear call for cooperation and open dialogue, upon which the forum was founded, trade and sector-specific specialists from the 21 APEC members wrapped up the first round of meetings for APEC Chile 2019 .

The Senior Officials adopted an economic cooperation agenda for the remainder of the year guided by the priorities set by Chile: Digital Society; Integration 4.0; Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth; and Sustainable Growth.

For the first time in the forum’s 30 year history, women’s issues have been given the highest priority, with the goal of promoting greater participation by women in the economy and international trade.  Work in this area is being carried out in conjunction with the Women and Gender Equity Ministry, where Undersecretary Carolina Cuevas has played an active role. She will now take on additional responsibilities as Chair of APEC’s PPWE (Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy).  

One of the most important advances made in this area during SOM 1, which coincided with International Women’s Day, was the strong show of support for developing “The Santiago Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth.”  This initiative, led by Chile, has set ambitious goals to speed up the economic integration of women in the Asia-Pacific region.

As this round of meetings concluded, SOM Chair Mathias Francke commented on the goals that had been proposed over the previous days.

“We have discussed a wide variety of topics centered primarily around the priorities set by Chile for this year. The agenda has also focused on moving toward trade liberalization in Asia-Pacific and on supporting the multilateral trade system, which had been proposed by the economies some time ago and on which different groups and areas of APEC have been working.”

During the two weeks of meetings held between February 23 and March 8, there have been close to one hundred activities including workshops, group meetings and site visits on diverse topics such as anti-corruption initiatives, illegal logging, customs procedures, digital commerce, childhood obesity and health, among others, with the active participation of sector-specific and ministerial level authorities.

The working session of the APEC Vision Group was opened by Foreign Affairs Minister, Roberto Ampuero.  This group is made up of distinguished professionals from the 21 member economies and its mission is to provide recommendations on various issues and define target areas that should be included in the Forum’s post-2020 vision.   

The APEC Business Advisory Council met in Atlanta

Meanwhile, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) met for the first time this year from March 2 through March 4 in Atlanta, USA.  Richard von Appen, ABAC Chair, presided over the meeting and was accompanied by Chilean ABAC members Alfonso Swett, Alejandra Mustakis and Eduardo Chadwick and the Executive Director of ABAC Chile 2019, Loreto Leyton.

The event was also attended by the Director for Multilateral Economic Affairs of Direcon, Rodrigo Yáñez, the Chilean SOM Chair, Mathias Francke, the Chilean SOM, Benjamin Salas and the President of the CEO Summit, Jean Paul Luksic. They participated in the traditional ABAC-APEC dialogue, which brings together government officials and leaders from the private sector in order to move forward on a common and collaborative agenda for the year.

About APEC

The APEC member economies are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; The United States and Viet Nam.

Since it joined the forum in 1994, Chile has been able to strategically place itself in Asia-Pacific, a region which accounted for 66% of Chile’s trade with the world and 59% of foreign investment in Chile.  As the APEC host, Chile has a unique opportunity not only to promote free trade and investment, but also to take concrete steps towards a deeper level of regional economic integration while pursuing sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.