The contribution was outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked virtually by China’s APEC Senior Official Lu Mei and Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat Rebecca Sta Maria on the sidelines of the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting, as noted in a release issued by the APEC Secretariat and received here on Thursday.
"China is committed to strengthening APEC cooperation, especially at these unprecedented times, as our region faces the challenges of COVID-19," Lu affirmed.
"We hope our contribution would not only promote the APEC initiatives and projects in relevant areas but also support member economies in their endeavor to combat COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery," he emphasized.
Of the total contribution, some US$420 thousand will be directed to support initiatives that contribute to the eventual realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), acceleration of the border trade liberalization and facilitation efforts, improving the business environment behind the border, and enhancing regional connectivity across the border.
Some US$500 thousand of the contribution will be directed to support APEC activities in reaching a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia-Pacific through the pillars of physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity, including resolving infrastructure financing bottlenecks, structural and regulatory reforms, transport and logistics, and facilitating cross-border movement of people.
As much as US$500 thousand of the remaining funds from China’s contribution will be diverted for economic reform and growth sub-fund. Some US$200 thousand was additionally contributed to support the APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC’s research and analysis arm.
"Trade and investment is APEC’s reason for being. Support for capacity building initiatives focused on advancing free trade and enhancing global value chains will help APEC’s endeavors to revive economic growth and rebuild better," Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat Sta Maria stated.
APEC projects are crucial for taking forward the policy directive set by APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers in order to offer tangible benefits to people living in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum offers funding for over 100 projects annually, with some US$16.5 million available in 2020.
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