APEC to discuss infrastructures to support region's connectivity

APEC to discuss infrastructures to support region's connectivity

APEC members area. (apec)

... Asia Pacific economies need a total of US$850 billion to build infrastructures... "
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will in 2013 discuss potential infrastructure projects to support connectivity in the region, Chairman of APEC Senior officials' Meeting, Yuri Thamrin, said here on Thursday.

Thamrin, who is also the director general for Asia Pacific and African Affairs of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, said that connectivity among economies in Asia Pacific will ease the flow of goods and services, accelerate economic growth and improve people`s welfare in the region.

"Asia Pacific economies need a total of US$850 billion to build infrastructures. This huge amount of money needs financial sources. Indonesia as host of APEC 2013 will push this theme to be further discussed during senior officials' and leaders' meetings," he said after the closing ceremony of APEC's first Senior Officials' Meeting held in Jakarta on Thursday.

According to him cooperation between public and private sectors will likely be one of the solution to finance the construction of infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific.

Other issues to be discussed in APEC meetings 2013 are emergency response, travel facilitation initiative, maritime-related issues for economic purpose, education cooperation among APEC economies, efforts to improve SMEs` and women entrepreneurs competitiveness and food security.

Meanwhile Japan's Deputy Director General of Economic Affairs Bureau, Yasushi Takase, said his country is willing to support infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific.

"Enhancing connectivity is very important issue for the region because this is the foundation towards regional economic integration. We would like to make contribution on this particular issue," he said.

In his annual speech on January 4, 2013, Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Marty Natalegawa, said by hosting the APEC Summit, Indonesia will reap significant benefits.

"We are confident that APEC, under Indonesia's leadership, will add significant value to the national economic growth and the welfare of its citizens, without ignoring the needs of the international community," said Minister Marty.

Established in 1989, APEC is a Pacific-rim economic cooperation forum that includes 21 member economies. They are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.