The contribution was confirmed on Friday with the online signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong, China’s secretary for justice, and Rebecca Sta Maria, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, according to a press release issued by the APEC Secretariat.
The MoU was signed on the margins of the first APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting of 2021.
"Sufficient legal infrastructure is essential to economic development and strengthening economic legal infrastructure is one of the key aspects for effective and sustainable structural reform, which can bring significant benefits to APEC economies," Cheng said.
"With the establishment of the strengthening economic legal infrastructure (SELI) sub-fund, we hope to further advance member economies’ cooperation in strengthening economic legal infrastructure through information-sharing, awareness raising, and capacity building,” she added.
The sub-fund will be used to assist member economies in assessing and implementing structural reform to bolster their economic legal infrastructure. It will also be used for capacity-building activities, including sharing expertise on international legal standards and instruments, development of good practice guides in specific legal areas, and sharing of information on laws and practices in relevant fields.
With the goal of advancing structural reform and ease of doing business in APEC, the sub-fund will provide funding for activities that contribute to APEC’s regional integration, connectivity, and structural reform agenda.
Member economies could also tap into the sub-fund for activities to support the implementation of relevant work plans, action plans, initiatives, or policy discussions endorsed by the APEC Economic Committee, such as APEC’s work plan for online dispute resolution framework for micro, small and medium enterprises in business-to-business transactions and electronic agreement management.
"A strong legal infrastructure provides certainty, fairness, predictability, and increases confidence to conduct business," said Rebecca Sta Maria.
"The contribution given to this sub-fund will support the structural reform initiatives in APEC. This is important as focus on post-COVID recovery," she added.
Projects are a vital part of the APEC process, according to the APEC Secretariat. They help translate the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers into actions and help create tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region, it added. (INE)
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