APEC leaders seek trade and digital breakthroughs

APEC leaders seek trade and digital breakthroughs

Logo of the Apec 2018 (www.apec2018png.org)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Leaders, ministers, and officials of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are convening this week in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and seeking trade and digital development breakthroughs in the region.

The APEC leaders have an urgent task of ensuring Asia-Pacific trade and digital development amid rising uncertainty in the global economy, according to a written statement issued by the APEC Secretariat received here on Tuesday.

Under the theme of "Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future," APEC Leaders will meet on Nov 18 to build a common ground towards advancing regional economic integration and connectivity, digital entrepreneurship and market access for businesses of all sizes, as well as an empowered, inclusive, and disruption-ready workforce.

The APEC Leaders` Meeting this year aims to provide greater policy direction in APEC for delivering trade that harnesses new, technologically-driven growth drivers, sparks business innovation and employment, and brings better quality of life to people in all areas of the region. The outlook for half of the global trade, 60 percent of the world`s gross domestic product, and broader prosperity could be lifted significantly.

The APEC Economic Leaders` Meeting will be informed by policy dialogue with the APEC Business Advisory Council on Nov 17 and exchanges of views with the region`s private sector heads at the APEC CEO Summit on Nov 15-17. APEC Leaders will also consider inputs shared during an informal meeting with the Pacific Island Leaders on Nov 17.

The tone for policy progress will be supported by decisions reached at the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Nov 15 as well as the new technical initiatives for strengthening next generation trade, investment, and sustainable and inclusive growth developed by APEC Senior Officials on Nov 12-13.

"Papua New Guinea is an important place for APEC to address the next steps for the digital economy because the challenges of embracing technology are real," Ambassador Ivan Pomaleu, 2018 Chair of APEC Senior Officials, stated.

"We have to work out accessibility issues, how to improve affordability, and how to make digital innovation within our economies more efficient and sustainable over the long haul," he remarked.

"Structural reform, for instance, should feature in our connectivity and infrastructure development efforts, and in our education and human resource discussions when we look at how populations can embrace technologies going forward and make it work," Ambassador Pomaleu stated.

Editing by Bustanuddin