The 23rd APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration

Manila 2015

Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World: A Vision for an Asia-Pacific Community

We, the Leaders of APEC, met in Manila under the theme of „Building  Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World,' determined to take action to fully realize the vision laid down by our predecessors of a stable, integrated, and prosperous community in the Asia-Pacific, in which all our people can enjoy the benefits of economic growth and technological progress. Our enduring commitment will underwrite the peace, stability, development, and common prosperity of the Asia-Pacific.

Under the shadow cast by the terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and against Russian aircraft over the Sinai, and elsewhere, we strongly condemn all acts, methods, and practices of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations. We will not allow terrorism to threaten the fundamental values that underpin our free and open economies. Economic growth, prosperity, and opportunity are among the most powerful tools to address the root causes of terrorism and radicalization. We stress the urgent need for increased international cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

We met at a time when global growth is uneven and continues to fall short of expectation. Risks and uncertainties remain in the global economy, including inadequate demand growth, financial volatility, and structural problems weighing on actual and potential growth. While APEC economies have remained resilient, they face challenges in boosting growth prospects.

Weakening external demand growth highlights the importance of promoting domestic demand. The rapidly changing structures and competitiveness of our economies necessitate that we develop new drivers of growth, such as productivity-enhancing structural reform, services and trade in services, investment liberalization and facilitation, infrastructure investment, science, technology and innovation, that lead to more balanced and sustainable outcomes.

We are mindful that despite the unprecedented economic growth that has lifted millions of people out of poverty, it continues to be a reality for millions of others in our region. We call for more intensive efforts for its reduction and eradication. We also acknowledge that inequality acts as a brake on economic growth and that reducing it is essential to spurring development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.

We recognize the significance of enabling the full participation of all sectors and segments of our society, especially women, youth, people with disabilities, indigenous peoples, low-income groups, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to achieving inclusive growth. We underscore the importance of empowering them with the ability to contribute to and benefit from future growth.

We remain united and steadfast in supporting an open, predictable, rules-based, and transparent environment for trade and investment that enables meaningful access to economic opportunities. This provides the best means to deliver sustained and inclusive growth, quality job creation, and financial market stability. We reaffirm the commitment to jointly build an open economy in the Asia-Pacific that is based on innovative development, interconnected growth, and shared interests.

We reaffirm the value, centrality, and primacy of the multilateral trading system under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). We are committed to strengthening the rules-based, transparent, non- discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system.  To further reinforce our commitment on the occasion of the 20th  anniversary of the WTO, we have decided to issue a separate statement supporting the multilateral trading system and the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO.

We reaffirm previous commitments on monetary and exchange rate policies. We will refrain from competitive devaluation and resist all forms of protectionism.

We reiterate our commitment to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020 and to the eventual realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). We appreciate the work by our officials to ensure that regional trade agreements complement and strengthen the multilateral trading system. We welcome the progress made by many APEC members in completing their respective processes to submit the instruments of acceptance to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which will reduce the cost of trading across borders.

While achieving ongoing economic transformation will not be easy, we are confident that we will continue to drive regional and global economic prosperity through quality economic growth.

To this end, we collectively commit:

Building Inclusive Economies

1.   To support comprehensive and ambitious structural reforms; achieve positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes; and promote good governance.

  1. We reiterate our commitment to ensure that future growth is strong, balanced, sustainable, inclusive, driven by innovation, and secure against natural disasters and other threats.  It should be supportive of gender equality.  We remain alert to the risks of the “middle income trap.”
  2. We  adopt  the  APEC  Strategy  for  Strengthening  Quality  Growth  that  will  prioritize  institution building, social cohesion, and environmental impact to give further focus to our efforts to pursue quality growth, building upon the commitments in the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy, and bearing in mind the commitments in the 2014 APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth. We instruct officials to report, for our review, on APEC's progress in promoting the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth.
  3. We welcome the assessment of the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy, especially the finding that more than 300 million people were lifted out of poverty in the APEC region, mainly due to rapid growth in developing economies. We support further efforts in narrowing the development gap in order to end poverty.
  4. We commend the work done under the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform and welcome the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR). Promoting structural reform is critical to improving economic efficiency and increasing productivity.  We recognize that much more remains to be done to ensure that growth is experienced at all levels of our communities. We therefore support economies in their efforts to explore new growth areas, including reforms aimed at further strengthening  the  services  sector  by  fostering  creativity  and  innovation  through  an  enhanced regulatory environment.
  5. We welcome the progress made on the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative and affirm the EoDB Action Plan (2016-2018) with a new aspirational target of a 10-percent improvement by 2018 in the existing five priority areas on starting a business, dealing with construction permits, trading across borders, getting credit, and enforcing contracts. We welcome the development of an Implementation Plan to guide our efforts to reach this target.
  6. We reaffirm our commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (“2030 Agenda”), which sets a comprehensive, universal, and ambitious framework for global development efforts for the next 15 years, and to ensuring that no one is left behind in our efforts to eradicate poverty and build an inclusive and sustainable future for all.  We also reaffirm our commitment to implementing the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which provides a comprehensive roadmap to help economies implement policies to attract and mobilize diverse sources of financing critical for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  7. We encourage further progress and practical initiatives to carry out the 2013 mandate of exploring trade in products that contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth through rural development and poverty alleviation.
  8. We recognize that corruption impedes economic sustainability and development and agree to combat the  harmful  effects  of  the illegal  economy and  to  promote  cultures  of integrity across  borders, markets, and supply chains. We reaffirm our commitment to open and accountable governance and to promoting international cooperation in the areas of repatriation or extradition of corrupt officials, asset recovery, criminalization, and prevention of corruption among APEC member-economies.  We support the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies in advancing pragmatic anti-corruption cooperation and welcome the Cebu Manifesto for the Protection of Anti-Corruption Officials.
  9. We welcome the efforts and activities that APEC members have undertaken to counter terrorism, including capacity-building initiatives to combat terrorist financing, and to prevent foreign terrorist fighter travel through advance passenger risk analysis and other measures. We further encourage economies to implement fully the APEC Consolidated Counter-Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy and to continue taking collective and individual actions and sharing best practices to secure infrastructure, travel, supply chains, and financial systems from terrorist activities.

2.   To deepen our financial markets and mitigate risks.

  1. We recognize that in spite of the progress we have made, millions of our citizens do not have access to reliable financial services, leaving them with insufficient access to capital to invest in their futures. We highlight the importance of financial inclusion and literacy to poverty alleviation, ensuring that our people can fully benefit from the access to cheaper capital and financing that comes with it.
  2. We recognize that financial integration through moving towards more liberalized financial services and capital accounts, while maintaining adequate safeguards as well as increased access to finance for MSMEs and businesses in the supply chain, will foster greater trade and investment in the region.
  3. We welcome the Cebu Action Plan (CAP) and commend our Finance Ministers for their collaborative efforts in crafting a multi-year roadmap of deliverables and initiatives to build an Asia-Pacific community that is more financially integrated, transparent, resilient, and connected. We emphasize the importance of macroeconomic cooperation including the sharing of experiences in macro- prudential policy frameworks to minimize systemic risks and promote financial stability in the APEC region.

Fostering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ Participation in Regional and Global Markets

3.   To foster an enabling trading environment that is responsive to new ways in which goods and services are produced and delivered and that promotes inclusiveness, especially for MSMEs.

  1. We live in a connected world in which many goods and services are no longer produced in one location  but  are  the  result  of  firms  cooperating  within  and  across  our  borders.    This  benefits consumers, creates jobs, and fosters development.  We need all our businesses, regardless of size, to connect to where opportunities exist. We need to develop policies that take full advantage of global value chains (GVC) and encourage greater participation and added value. We will promote competition, entrepreneurship, and innovation through effective and comprehensive measures, including balanced intellectual property (IP) systems and capacity-building.
  2. We underscore the significance of the participation of MSMEs in global commerce to inclusive growth and will take action to facilitate such participation. We recognize that internationally-oriented MSMEs can make substantial contributions to poverty reduction through employment creation, productivity improvements, and economies of scale. However, because the costs of doing business impact disproportionately on our MSMEs, especially in terms of cumbersome rules and regulations, we need to address the barriers to their internationalization and integration into GVCs. Towards this end, we adopt the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs and instruct Ministers to implement actions laid out in the Agenda and report their progress to us by 2020.
  3. We welcome the APEC Iloilo Initiative: Growing Global MSMEs for Inclusive Development, and support the creation of the APEC MSME Marketplace to provide opportunities for business and strengthen collaboration with public and private organizations to support MSME development.  We also welcome progress in collaborative efforts to enhance GVC resilience in this region.
  4. We recognize the importance of MSMEs' access to finance as a key enabler of MSME expansion, internationalization,  and  productivity  improvement.  We  welcome  the  commitment  made  by  the private sector and international finance organizations to collaborate with the public sector through the recently launched Financial Infrastructure Development Network under the CAP. We emphasize the importance of promoting MSMEs' resilience against disasters, financial crises, and other unexpected events. In addressing these challenges, we recognize the important role of public finance such as credit guarantee systems designed for MSME operational continuity and the importance of enhancing closer collaboration with relevant public and private sector institutions.
  5. We  emphasize  opportunities  that  the internet  and  digital  economy offers  to achieve  innovative, sustainable, inclusive, and secure growth, with a view to improving connectivity. The internet and digital economy will allow businesses, especially MSMEs, to participate in GVCs and reach a wider consumer base through new business models, creating a truly global market place for the exchange of goods, services, capital, and ideas. With regard to MSME development, we commit to continue to promote cross-border privacy, and to protect consumer interests. We instruct our officials to advance the work to facilitate the internet and digital economy. We also instruct officials to implement the Work Plan for Facilitating Digital Trade for Inclusive Growth as a Potential Next Generation Trade and Investment Issue.

Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities

4.   To build sustainable and disaster-resilient economies.

  1. We recognize that our region, located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, is particularly vulnerable and exposed to disasters. We face typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, rising sea levels, and pandemics, the impacts of which are magnified by our densely populated cities. It has become a “new normal” for us to face natural disasters of increasing frequency, magnitude and scope, and their resulting disruption of the increasingly integrated and interlinked production and supply chains.
  2. We welcome and adopt the APEC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Framework to facilitate collective work in building adaptive and disaster-resilient economies supporting inclusive and sustainable development in the face of the “new normal.” Through the APEC DRR Framework, we will minimize the losses we endure and ensure that our communities have the support to overcome adversity and to build back better. We instruct Ministers to craft an action plan in 2016 to operationalize the APEC DRR Framework and renew existing efforts such as business continuity planning, strengthening early warning systems, search and rescue, post-disaster recovery, promoting appropriate donations, and enhancing capacity building. We welcome the APEC Principles for the Movement of Humanitarian Goods and Equipment during Emergencies to better protect lives and livelihoods. We also note the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
  3. We welcome Finance Ministers' efforts to build financial resilience through the CAP, noting that this also entails developing innovative disaster risk financing and insurance mechanisms, in light of the heavy fiscal burden experienced by some economies due to the increasing damage of natural disasters.
  4. We  request  the  Chief  Science  Advisors  and  Equivalents  to  explore  further  the  provision  of coordinated scientific advice surrounding and during emergencies, in coordination with other relevant APEC fora.
  5. We recognize that disaster resilience includes the ability to collaborate in detecting and preventing the spread of communicable disease.   We welcome the development of the Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020 Roadmap.  We  welcome  APEC's  working partnership  with  other  relevant  global  initiatives  for strengthening infectious disease control, and the training network established to ensure the safety of our region's blood supply.
  6. In line with our goal to promote sustainable communities, we are firmly committed to achieving a fair, balanced, ambitious, durable, and dynamic agreement on climate change at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in December. We therefore reaffirm our aspirational goals to reduce aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035 and double renewable energy in the regional energy mix by
    2030 to achieve sustainable and resilient energy development within the Asia-Pacific.
  7. We reaffirm our commitment to rationalize and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services. We welcome progress made to date while recognizing the need for further ambitious efforts to meet our goal. We express our appreciation to those economies who have volunteered to undergo a voluntary inefficient fossil fuel subsidy peer review.   We welcome ongoing initiatives to share best practices and facilitate capacity building to further progress toward this goal.
  8. We  affirm  the  importance  of  energy  resiliency  in  promoting  energy  security  and  sustainable development and in providing energy access. We commend the initiative of creating a Task Force on Energy Resiliency, the initiative for enhancing the quality of electric power infrastructure in the Asia- Pacific region, and the establishment of the APEC Sustainable Energy Center. In transitioning to low- carbon economy, we will explore the contribution of biofuels, civil nuclear power as a base load power source, advanced coal technologies, liquefied natural gas, solar, wind, and marine energy technologies.  We appreciate efforts towards a diversified, flexible, and integrated natural gas market in the APEC region.
  9. We emphasize the need for improved sustainable agriculture, food security, food safety, and nutrition to build resilient communities across the region. We therefore instruct Ministers to implement the APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy Plan of Action in the areas of resilient oceans and coastal resources, fish loss reduction, and agri-business development. We support the APEC Food Safety Co-operation Forum and its Partnership Training Institute Network. We encourage progress on the APEC Food Security Roadmap toward 2020, to contribute to the achievement of APEC's food security goal.
  10. We recognize the important role of forests in supporting our communities, conserving biodiversity, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. We reaffirm our commitment to the aspirational goal in the Sydney Declaration of increasing forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares of all types of forests by 2020 and to promote sustainable forest management, conservation and rehabilitation, and combat illegal logging and associated trade. We welcome the report of assessment of progress towards the aspirational goal on forests in the Sydney Declaration.
  11. Building on our commitments in previous years, we will take actions to combat wildlife trafficking and related corruption through further reducing illegal supply, transit, and demand; strengthening domestic and global enforcement, enhancing legislative frameworks, and other criminal justice tools; enhancing efforts in each of our economies to treat wildlife trafficking crime seriously; and increasing cross-border law enforcement cooperation and other interaction among wildlife enforcement networks as appropriate.

5.   To make urbanization work for growth.

  1. Our cities are potential centers of creativity and innovation, providing jobs and livelihoods for billions of  people.  We  emphasize  the  importance  of  proper  planning  and  adequate  infrastructure  for sustainable  city  development.  We  therefore  welcome  the  work  of  our  officials  to  discuss  the challenges  of  rapid  urbanization  in  APEC,  including  innovative  ways  of  addressing  waste management and water-related challenges.
  2. We remain committed to a new type of urbanization featuring green, energy-efficient, low-carbon, and people-oriented development. We commend the efforts of member economies in implementing the APEC Cooperation Initiative for Jointly Establishing an Asia-Pacific Urbanization Partnership. In this regard, we welcome China's initiative to host an APEC high-level forum on urbanization in 2016. We encourage ongoing efforts in this direction toward energy efficient and low-carbon development in urban settings, including the implementation of the APEC Low-Carbon Model Town Project, use of green codes and standards for buildings, and the Energy Smart Communities Initiative.
  3. We recognize that the region's shifting demography, including ageing populations and urbanization, has profound implications for the region's food system. We will enhance efforts to improve security and safety of the region's food supply, sustainable agricultural and water management, and seek to increase citizens' access to food including through better connectivity between urban, rural, and remote areas; facilitation of investment and infrastructure development; and reduction of food loss and waste along the food value chain.
  4. At the same time, we acknowledge that our rural communities should not be left behind in the economic and social development of the region.  In this regard, we are determined to make efforts to strengthen rural  communities through  sharing experiences of rural development,  with a view  to forging comprehensive strategies to eradicate poverty and enhance the welfare of rural communities in the region.
  5. We  commend  efforts  to  develop  safe,  secure,  resilient,  efficient,  and  sustainable  transportation systems, and to promote innovations in the transportation sector as we move towards achieving inclusive mobility and global supply chain resilience. We instruct our officials to continue to enhance their work on connectivity of transportation networks.

Investing in Human Capital Development

6.   To redouble our efforts to empower our people with the tools to benefit from and participate in economic growth.

  1. In 1996, we endorsed a framework for economic and technical cooperation to ensure that all APEC members can fully participate in and benefit from an open trading environment.  We are pleased with the joint efforts and progress made in improving the delivery of capacity building and cross-fora collaboration among working groups and fora.  We underscore the need to avoid the emergence of a divided community in the region - those connected to global markets benefitting from integration and those left behind being unable to realize their potential.
  2. We emphasize the importance of investment in human capital through the development of skills that industry needs to effectively contribute to the next phase of our region's economic growth. In the current environment characterized by the rapid and ubiquitous use of technology, our people, in particular women and youth, need to be equipped not only with technical skills in science, technology, and innovation but must also be adaptable  and resilient. We therefore instruct our officials to work closely with businesses, education and training providers, employment services, and civil society to understand the skills needed by the industry and to develop education and training programs that will equip people with the skills and competencies to join the workforce and fulfill their potential.
  3. We underscore the synergy between our ambition to improve human capital development and our goals to improve people-to-people connectivity and to continue the promotion of cross-border cooperation in education. We welcome the early realization of our 2020 student mobility target of 1 million intra-APEC  university-level  students  per  year.    We  also  recognize  the  close  correlation between human capital development and progress in ICT and its benefits.
  4. We  remain  committed  to  advancing  women's  full  participation  in  the  economy  in  concrete, actionable, and measureable ways, including through enhancement of women's representation in leadership. We therefore call for strengthened efforts to support the mainstreaming of gender equality and women's empowerment across APEC's work streams, including the Women and the Economy Dashboard as a tool for identifying priorities for policy action.
  5. We welcome the progress of APEC cooperation to enhance economic empowerment of persons with disabilities and encourage further collaboration among member economies in promoting inclusive development.
  6. We recognize the importance of our health systems in promoting the development of human capital and inclusive growth and look forward to further work in 2016 to address the fiscal and economic impacts of ill-health.

Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda

7.   To achieve our vision for an integrated community in a comprehensive and systematic manner.

  1. We reaffirm our commitment to advance the process in a comprehensive and systematic manner towards the eventual realization of the FTAAP as a major instrument to further APEC's regional economic integration agenda.  We commend the progress made by our officials on the work on the implementation of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP, which includes the Collective Strategic Study on Issues Related to the Realization of the FTAAP, the Information Sharing Mechanism, and the 2nd Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI). We instruct Ministers and officials to continue this work and, in particular, we look forward to receiving the findings and accompanying recommendations of the Collective Strategic Study when we meet again next year in Peru.
  2. We reiterate our belief that the FTAAP should be pursued as a comprehensive free trade agreement by building on ongoing regional undertakings. We also reaffirm our vision contained in the Pathways to FTAAP  that  it  should  be  high-quality  and  incorporate  and  address  next  generation  trade  and investment issues. In this connection, we note the recent development on the free trade agreements in the region and the progress of the possible Pathways to the FTAAP, including the finalization of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, and we encourage the early completion of negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  3. We reaffirm the commitment we made in 2012 to reduce our applied tariffs on the APEC List of Environmental  Goods  to  five  per  cent  or  less  by  the  end  of  this  year.  We  congratulate  those economies that are on track to fulfill this ground-breaking commitment and strongly urge those that have yet to fully implement this commitment to redouble efforts to meet the end of the year deadline.
  4. We  welcome  the  progress  that  has  been  made  under  the  work  streams  of  the  APEC  Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation and instruct officials to further develop this work.
  5. We reaffirm our commitment to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively integrated, innovative, and interconnected Asia-Pacific. We welcome progress implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 under the pillars of physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity.
  6. We will take further action to ensure continued implementation of this Blueprint and to promote regional and sub-regional connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
  7. We appreciate progress in implementation of initiatives which will greatly improve connectivity and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, and progress of the initiatives which help resolve the bottleneck of financing in this field. We encourage further collaboration among these initiatives in order to promote regional economic integration and the common development of the Asia-Pacific.
  8. We emphasize the importance of investment in quality infrastructure and connectivity to realize our vision for an Asia-Pacific community. We welcome the initiatives set out by the CAP to maximize the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) modality for infrastructure delivery, to tap long-term investments for infrastructure through capital market development, and to continue efforts in inclusive infrastructure, in urban development, and in regional connectivity.

8.   To develop the services sector as an enabler of economic growth and inclusion.

  1. We acknowledge that international trade in services facilitates cross-border business activity, reduces costs, spurs innovation, boosts competition and productivity, raises the standard of domestic services suppliers, and widens the range of choice for consumers. We also acknowledge that trade in services has an enormous potential for creating jobs, and for increasing competitiveness in the global market, providing whole-of-economy benefits. Inclusive growth cannot be achieved without addressing services-related issues, as many MSMEs operate in this sector.
  2. For these reasons, we endorse the APEC Services Cooperation Framework to ensure that all our citizens can benefit from and contribute to high quality growth. We instruct our officials to develop a strategic and long-term Services Competitiveness Roadmap in 2016 with the adoption of a concerted set of actions and mutually agreed targets to be achieved by 2025. We appreciate services-related initiatives such as manufacturing-related services.

Strengthening Collaboration

9.   To work with stakeholders to address common challenges.

  1. Given our diversity, our achievements thus far in APEC provide a benchmark for how, through cooperation, we can advance regional economic integration and achieve shared prosperity.  Building on our achievements, we commit to engage in an enhanced degree of cooperation within and across our economies with a broad range of stakeholders.  We reaffirm the need to have a well-coordinated and whole-of-government approach to rulemaking in our economies.  This should rely on open and inclusive public consultation processes involving the full range of domestic and international stakeholders.
  2. We  therefore  welcome  our  increased  collaboration  with  the  APEC  Business  Advisory  Council (ABAC),   the   Pacific   Economic   Cooperation   Council   (PECC),   international   and   regional organizations,  the  private sector,  local  government  executives,  civil  society,  academia,  MSMEs, women, youth, persons with disabilities, and industry experts, engaging in constructive dialogues that allow us to find solutions to the challenges we face and build a better, more inclusive world.

10. To strongly support the work of our Ministers, the APEC Process, and all its Committees and Fora.

  1. We therefore endorse the 2015 APEC Joint Ministerial Statement and commend the work of our Ministers and officials as reflected in the results of the Sectoral Ministerial Meetings, High-Level Policy Dialogues, the Finance Ministers' Process, the Committees and Working Groups of the Senior Officials' Meeting, and all related mechanisms.
  2. We instruct our Ministers and officials to continue their work, including implementation of the recommendations, work programs, and action plans of the outcome documents for 2015 sectoral ministerial meetings and high-level policy dialogues, bearing in mind the vision contained in this Declaration, as well as our previous meetings.
  3. We express our appreciation for the contributions by relevant members to the APEC Fund, the establishment of Sub-Funds on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and Global Value Chains, Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth, and Connectivity, and Mining, and the voluntary provision of training opportunities to developing economy members. We look forward to future work to better align our resources with our priorities.

Through economic integration driven by technological progress, urbanization, trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and improved connectivity, our lives have become increasingly intertwined. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together to ensure our common destiny. In spite of the challenges we face, the future of our region will be bright as we stand true to our pledge to shape the future through Asia-Pacific partnership,  with  a  view  to  fulfilling  our  goals  of  common  development,  prosperity,  and  progress,  by harnessing our people's collective abilities in the spirit of mutual respect and trust, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation.

Recognizing that  APEC work is  a  continuing  process  and  that  continuity of  agenda  is  key to  APEC's relevance, we thank the Philippines for its leadership this year as it has built on the vision and work of the previous APEC hosts.

We look forward to meeting again in Peru in 2016 and will work closely with the future hosts from 2017 to 2022, namely Viet Nam, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Thailand. We welcome the offer of the Republic of Korea to host APEC in 2025.

Annex A: APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth

1.     We, the APEC Leaders, reaffirm our commitment to the 2010 APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy. We recognize  its  continuing  relevance  in  guiding  APEC towards its  fundamental  purpose  of  providing prosperity to the region through trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

2.     This year, in Manila, we reaffirm our aspirations towards a balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth in the APEC region, by agreeing on an APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth for the period until 2020 to bring greater focus to the importance of pursuing quality growth as envisaged in the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy.

Strengthening the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy to Respond to Emerging Challenges

3.     We recognize the continued important contribution of the APEC region to global economic growth. We emphasize that liberalization and facilitation in trade and investment continue to be core drivers of economic growth and development in the region. Improving the quality of growth and ensuring that it remains dynamic requires greater impetus for a concerted effort among APEC members.

4.     We recognize that global economic growth continues to face major challenges and note that regional growth remains moderate and uneven. The Asia-Pacific region is faced with such challenges as: 1) potential volatility in financial markets; 2) increasing inequality; 3) the gap in physical infrastructure; 4) the need to foster innovation and increase access to skills; 5) environmental concerns that include the impact of climate change; and 6) food security and sustainable management of agriculture. We support the APEC Finance Ministers’ work to strengthen economic growth and promote financial stability in the APEC region.

5.     We welcome global efforts to lift economic growth, including the existing work of the G20 and the United Nations, which recently released the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  We reaffirm APEC’s commitment in complementing the global efforts in addressing the many challenges to sustainable economic  growth.  The  APEC  Strategy  for  Strengthening  Quality  Growth  will  bring  more  synergy between the APEC Growth Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The APEC Growth Strategy and Related Initiatives

6.     The 2010 APEC Growth Strategy includes action agendas for each attribute. We welcome the effort to evaluate the progress of APEC member economies vis-à-vis the action agendas. While APEC as a region has made progress in achieving growth in all its attributes, much still remains to be done, particularly in making sure that the gains already achieved are further expanded and sustained. We enjoin APEC fora to continue their efforts, guided by their respective strategic plans, in contributing to the ultimate goals of the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy, as enriched by the 2015 APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth.

7.     We endorse the agreement on the Renewed APEC Agenda on Structural Reform (RAASR) which covers the areas of inclusive growth, innovation, and services.  The RAASR builds on APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR), which we endorsed in 2010, to help economies attain high quality growth and become more resilient. This initiative encourages APEC economies to implement structural reforms in priority areas, and also provides the chance for APEC economies to participate in capacity-building programs and other technical cooperation activities to train government officials in the implementation of those reforms.

8.     We also endorsed in 2014 the Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth which aims to promote closer cooperation in five areas: 1) economic reform; 2) new economy; 3) innovative growth; 4) inclusive support; and 5) urbanization. We reaffirm the commitment to accelerate the pace of reform and innovation, and explore new growth areas. We note that this Accord includes policy actions in each of the five Growth Strategy attributes and thus provides strong support to the implementation of the Growth Strategy.

The 2015 APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth

9.     The APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth builds on the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy by strengthening and sustaining quality growth as expressed by the Key Accountability Areas (KAAs) of institution building, social cohesion, and environmental impact. Without institution building, social cohesion, and addressing environmental impacts, we will not be able to sustain quality growth. The KAAs are also intended to give more traction to the five attributes and help align the Growth Strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals.

10.  We agree to strengthen cooperation that directly relate to and contribute to the achievement of the

a.    Institution Building

Institutions matter for economic growth and development because they shape the incentives of key economic actors in society; in particular, they influence investments in physical and human capital and technology, and the organization of production.

We recognize that different development levels and economic conditions affect the prioritization of the various aspects of institution building.  Some of the more important economic institutions are: (i) rules-based economy that promotes legal certainty and reduces the cost of doing business; (ii) a market-based economy supported by sound public institutions and regulations; (iii) deep financial markets that efficiently intermediate savings combined with effective regulatory systems that promote   financial   stability;   iv)   a   shareholder-oriented   corporate   governance   system;   (v) mechanisms that support trade and investment liberalization and facilitation; and (vi) a labor market that allows re-allocation of labor in response to market demand but at the same time protects the welfare of workers.

The  action  agenda  in  the  area  of  institution  building  should  recognize  different  levels  of development and therefore feature a multi-track and multi-speed program.

b.    Social Cohesion

We  see  social  cohesion  as  both  an  end  and  a  means  to  achieve  economic  growth  and development.   We see the role of society in working cohesively towards the well-being of all its members by fighting exclusion and marginalization, by creating a sense of belonging, by promoting trust, and by offering to its members the opportunity of upward mobility.

Public policies are often more effective in socially cohesive societies resulting in greater poverty reduction  and  a  more stable growth  process.  Lack  of  social cohesion  hampers  the  ability to implement efficient fiscal policy aimed at reducing inequality. Social cohesion also reduces transaction costs, that is, the costs incurred in making economic exchanges, such as information gathering, communications, and contract enforcement. Finally, social cohesion enhances growth by facilitating collective action, that is cooperation among individuals in pursuit of shared objectives.

c.    Environmental Impact

Responses to climate change include measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to increase carbon sequestration, and to adapt to the effects of climate change. Measures to reduce emissions will encourage economies to move toward low carbon societies. Meanwhile, we emphasize the need to adapt to climate change through disaster preparedness and risk reduction. Adaptation entails investments in science and technology, disaster resilient infrastructure, and eco-system based adaptation, among other strategies. Both adaptation and mitigation measures will be important for agriculture, fishery, forestry and industrialization policies. We reiterate the call of Leaders through the 2010 APEC Growth Strategy to develop more resource-efficient economies that will enable us to prosper as low-carbon and resilient societies. We continue to encourage new green industries and jobs.

The Role of the Private Sector

11.  We recognize that the private sector plays an important role in economic growth and development, especially  in  achieving  ‘growth  that matters’  – as  they foster  innovation, create  employment,  and promote corporate social responsibility. We encourage private sector participation in developing whole- of-economy, whole-of-society approaches towards ensuring dynamic and quality growth.


12.  We resolve to implement the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth, building upon our commitment to the 2010 Growth Strategy and bearing in mind the commitments in past and ongoing APEC initiatives in various APEC fora. We commit to work to support individual economies in their implementation of the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth – consistent with the KAAs as presented in the Annex which we adopt as a living document – by sharing experience and capacity building.

13.  We instruct the Senior Officials to commission the PSU to report in 2020 on the impact of the extensive APEC work  program on improving growth, and to report to Leaders, for their review, on APEC’s progress in promoting the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth. At that point, Leaders may consider the future direction of this Strategy.

Annex B: APEC Services Cooperation Framework

We, the Leaders of APEC, gathered in Manila on 19 November 2015 to reaffirm our commitment to achieve inclusive growth in the APEC region. We recognize the important role of services in realizing this goal.

The services sector accounts for a dominant share of our economies, providing high quality jobs and new avenues for growth. Efficient and competitive services sectors provide whole-of-economy benefits.

We acknowledge that international trade in services facilitates the transfer of technology and management know-how, spurs innovation, boosts competition and productivity, raises the standard of domestic services suppliers, reduces costs, and widens the range of choice for consumers.

Recognizing that the development of services including their efficient delivery requires a strategic approach, we therefore adopt this APEC Services Cooperation Framework (ASCF) as follows:

Advancing the Services Agenda

1. As part of our commitment to realizing APEC’s vision as outlined in the Bogor Leaders’ Declaration and achieving APEC’s goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific no later than the year 2020, we recognize the importance of advancing regional cooperation in services.

2. We value APEC’s past and ongoing work on services across the various APEC sub-fora, contributing significantly to efforts towards implementing the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy, the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, and the 2014 APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains Development and Cooperation.

3. We welcome the outcomes of the second meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Structural Reform and the emphasis they placed on services.

4. We commend APEC for its work in services trade and investment, such as the Services Action Plan, the APEC Principles for Cross-Border Trade in Services, and the Services Trade Access Requirements (STAR) Database. We also recognize the significant contribution of the Manufacturing Related Services Action Plan, the Environmental Goods and Services Work Programme, the Environmental Services Action Plan, and the establishment of the APEC Public Private Partnership on Environmental Goods and Services (PPEGS) to APEC’s ongoing work on services.

5. We have explored ways to further deepen cross-fora collaboration on services such as through the first joint meeting of the Economic Committee, the Group on Services, and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) on Regulatory Reform and Services held in 2015. The Public-Private Dialogues on Services, initiated by Indonesia in 2013, were undertaken in cooperation with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and PECC, to broaden the base for consultation. These dialogues stressed the value of intensified focus on services and facilitated the sharing of regulatory experiences and challenges, as well as generated views on ways to improve services competitiveness taking into account APEC economies’ circumstances.

6. We recognize the rapid changes taking place in the delivery of services, such as through digitally-enabled trade. To boost services trade and investments in the region, APEC needs to further deepen and build momentum in its work on services.


7. We agree to set our long-term vision for services in APEC.

8. Recalling the Bogor Goals of 1994, we resolve to strengthen our efforts in services through the following principles of cooperation:

  • Free and open trade and investment in services consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) principles;
  • Transparent and improved communication;
  • Collaboration and engagement across the APEC platform and with various stakeholders;
  • Competitiveness in services through human and institutional capacity building and increased participation of developing member economies; and
  • Cross-sectoral and sector-specific approaches.

9. In line with the 1995 Osaka Action Agenda, the 2000 Policy Framework for Work on Services, and the 2009 APEC Principles for Cross-Border Trade in Services, taking into account individual economies’ situations, we affirm the importance of the following strategic directions:

  • Transparency of laws, regulations, and administrative procedures;
  • Progressively reducing restrictions to services trade and investment, including unnecessary localization requirements;
  • Non-discrimination between domestic and foreign service suppliers;
  • Good regulatory practices and effective competition policy;
  • Facilitating the mobility of service suppliers and business persons; and
  • Supporting capacity building to develop the ability of economies to competitively supply services.

10. We believe that the 2015 ASCF will play a pivotal role in fully achieving the Bogor Goals, in providing a common strategic direction and in promoting coherence in APEC’s work on services. The ASCF will ensure that APEC’s multi-fora and multi-stakeholder services agenda will remain dynamic and responsive to economic, market, and technological developments of each APEC member economy.

The Way Forward

11. We agree to develop a strategic and long-term APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap in 2016 with the adoption of a concerted set of actions and mutually agreed targets to be achieved by 2025. The process of drafting the Roadmap will begin with discussion of the elements of the Roadmap followed by deliberations on actions and mutually agreed targets. The Roadmap will, among others:

  • Build on APEC’s past and ongoing work on services;
  • Promote increased and strengthened APEC cross-fora dialogue and collaboration such as joint meetings, projects, and initiatives;
  • Pursue close collaboration with ABAC, PECC, and other stakeholders through regular Public-Private Dialogues on Services;
  • Broaden multi-stakeholder engagement through the APEC Virtual Knowledge Center on Services – a virtual knowledge-sharing platform on information and best practices of services-related policies and programs of APEC;
  • Foster exchange of good regulatory practices and promote effective competition policy;
  • Seek better ways to produce services-related statistics and increase the number of APEC economies with indices for measuring the regulatory environment in services including by providing capacity building and exploring the development of an APEC index, taking into account, as appropriate, existing indices maintained by other fora such as the OECD;
  • Regularly organize, through the relevant APEC Working Groups and Committees, discussion fora among services regulators; officials responsible for trade, investment, and competition policies; and the private sector; and
  • Leverage partnerships with regional and global bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), United Nations (UN) Bodies, International Trade Center (ITC), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and the World Bank, among other institutions, to implement the Roadmap, and avoid duplication and ensure coherence with existing initiatives.

12. The desired outcomes of the ASCF are:

  • Increased services value-adding capacity of APEC economies;
  • Cultivation of globally competitive services sectors of APEC economies;
  • Expansion of trade and investment in services in APEC economies via improvements in physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity;
  • Enhancement of GVC participation of all businesses especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs);
  • Wider access to more efficient and greater variety of services for APEC and its people;
  • Job creation and growth while promoting social inclusion and human development; and
  • Addition of measures in pursuit of the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy for inclusive, innovative, balanced, secure, and sustainable growth.

13. We urge our Ministers and Senior Officials to mainstream this Framework into the strategic and long-term planning of APEC’s work program through all the relevant Committees and Working Groups, in particular the Group on Services (GOS).

14. Finally, we instruct Senior Officials to develop a mechanism for implementing the ASCF beginning 2016.

Annex to the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth

Annex to the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth
Growth Attributes
(related to specific action items)
Key Accountability Areas
(1 – Primary KAA; 2 – Secondary KAA)
Balanced Growth Across Economies
1. Initiatives to address excessive current account deficits, mainly through boosting domestic savings, with attention to local conditions in order not to derail economic growth1
2. Initiatives to address excessive current account surpluses to reducing reliance on external demand and strengthening domestic demand-led growth1
3. Initiatives to strengthen multilateral cooperation to promote external sustainability and pursue the full range of policies conducive to reducing excessive imbalances and maintaining current account imbalances at sustainable levels.1
4. Initiatives to move towards more market determined exchange rate systems that reflect underlying economic fundamentals1
Balanced growth within Economies
1. Initiatives to establish open, well-functioning, transparent, better-regulated and competitive markets1
2. Initiatives to develop financial markets1
3. Initiatives to increase domestic demand1
4. Initiatives to strengthen social safety nets21
5. Initiatives to promote a competitive environment1
6. Initiatives to enhance public sector and corporate governance1
Facilitate growth through infrastructure development
Initiatives for innovative solutions, technical assistance, and advisory services for raising private and public financing for infrastructure-related projects12
Promote job creation, human resource development, and active labor market policies
1. Initiatives to improve quality education for women, youth, elderly workers, and vulnerable groups including people with disabilities21
2. Employment opportunities for women, youth, elderly workers, and vulnerable groups21
Promote SMEs, MEs, and entrepreneurship development
1. Initiatives to encourage SME participation in high growth sectors21
2. Initiatives to increase SME access to global markets (high value-add products, opportunities global markets, trade barriers)21
3. Initiatives to improve the business environment, increase management capacity, and expand access to relevant technologies12
Promote more inclusive to finance and financial services
Initiatives to facilitate access to finance for SMEs, MEs, women entrepreneurs, and vulnerable groups including people with disabilities21
Enhance social resilience and social welfare through means such as improving social safety nets
1. Initiatives to support the individual’s economic security (sharing experience, capacity building)21
2. Well-functioning safety nets programs that enhance social insurance coverage and encourage labor market participation21
3. Initiatives to accelerate the reduction of the population below the poverty line21
4. Initiatives to improve income distribution through social protection that is based on community empowerment and economic opportunities of the low income population21
Create new economic opportunities for women, elderly, and vulnerable groups
Initiatives to increase economic opportunities for women, elderly, people with disabilities, and vulnerable populations (employment, business, opportunities, quality education)21
Promote tourism12
Enhance energy security and promote energy-efficiency and low-carbon policies
1. Initiatives to enhance energy security21
2. Initiatives to promote energy-efficiency21
3. Initiatives to promote low-carbon policies21
Develop a low-carbon energy sector
Initiatives to introduce low-emission power sources and to assess the potential of options to reduce carbon emissions21
Improve to access for environmental goods and services (EGS) and develop EGS sectors
1. Initiatives to increase utilization of EGS, reduce barriers to trade and investment in EGS and enhance the capabilities of members to develop their EGS sector, which will take into account different circumstances and different level of development of each economy21
2. Diffusion, climate friendly, and other EGS technologies21
Promote green jobs education and training
1. Initiatives to build skill competencies, share best practices, and support education for sustainable development jobs21
2. Initiatives to promote ecotourism21
Promote private investment in green industries and production process
Initiatives to promote private investment in green industries and production processes21
Promote conservation and more sustainable management of agriculture and natural resources
1. Initiatives to enhance forest management21
2. Initiatives to conserve soil21
3. Initiatives to conserve marine resources21
4. Initiatives to manage watersheds21
5. Initiatives to promote sustainable agriculture21
6. Initiatives to adopt to water-related risks21
Promote the establishment and development of green supply chains
Initiatives to strengthen capacity building of green supply chains and the relevant networking efforts21
Promote Innovative Development, Economic Reform, and Growth
1. Initiatives to overcome the Middle-Income Trap12
2. Initiatives to tap into the growth potential of emerging sectors, such as the Internet Economy, the Blue Economy, and the Green Economy12
3. Initiatives to advance cooperation on urbanization and sustainable city development12
Realize smart socioeconomic activity through enhanced ICT use and by sharing best practices
Initiatives to promote smart socioeconomic activity through enhanced ICT use and by sharing best practices12
Promote Digital Prosperity
Adopted policies and regulations to foster innovation and use of ICTs. Promoting:
1. Trade and Investment in ICT products and services1
2. Adapting globally accepted standards and international practices1
3. Investment in high speed broadband infrastructure1
4. Competitive environment conducive to emerging technologies and innovative services1
5. Effective privacy protection1
6. Information and communication flows1
Develop a skilled, adaptable, and professional APEC work-force
Initiatives to develop technical and vocational education and training to nurture more skilled personnel in certain strategic directions12
Enhance Dialogues and information sharing on innovation policy
Initiatives to share best practices for more effective policy making and implementation21
Promote innovation and creativity through effective, comprehensive, and balanced intellectual property (IP) Systems
1. Initiatives to improve intellectual property right protection and enforcement1
2. Initiatives to improve IP utilization1
3. Initiatives to improve IP commercialization1
Promote cooperation on standards
1. Initiatives to promote cooperation on standard in coordination with Specialist Regional bodies and promote greater alignment of domestic standard in international standards21
2. Initiatives to promote cooperation on standardization in advanced technologies21
Promote innovation in Life Science
Initiatives to stimulate innovation and application of medical and related ICT innovations in health systems (investment, sustainable development in the pharmaceutical and biologics industries, regulatory harmonization on medical products, cooperation to prevent trade in counterfeit medical products1
Counter terrorism and promote secure trade
Initiatives to counter terrorism and promote secure trade agenda – promoting transportation security, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance, supply-chain security and trade recovery, cyber security, protecting infrastructure1
Prepare for emergencies and natural disasters
1. Initiatives to understand disasters’ economic and social costs21
2. Initiatives to identify gaps in disaster risk reduction approaches21
3. Initiatives to develop practical mechanisms to maximize business and community resilience21
Enhance infectious disease preparedness and control of non-communicable diseases, and strengthen health systems
1. Initiatives to effectively manage emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases12
2. Initiatives to build capacity for the prevention of non-communicable diseases12
3. Initiatives to strengthen health system12
Strengthen food security and food safety
1. Initiatives to promote food security through sustainable development of agriculture21
2. Initiatives to promote food safety21
Combat corruption and promote transparency
1. Initiatives to address corruption and transparency in public sector governance1
2. Initiatives to address corruption and transparency in private sector governance1