2015 APEC Ministerial Meeting

Joint Ministerial Statement

16-17 November 2015
Manila, Philippines

1. We, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers convened on 16-17 November 2015 in Manila, the Philippines under the chairmanship of Albert F. del Rosario, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry.

2. In APEC’s 26th year, we chose the theme “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World,” representing our vision for an Asia-Pacific region that embraces an economic growth agenda that benefits everyone and future generations – reiterating the vision our APEC Leaders set twenty years ago in Subic for sustainable growth and equitable development. This year, as we continue to chart a course for the region into the 21st century, we pursued this vision through four priorities: Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration (REI) Agenda; Fostering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MSME) Participation in Regional and Global Markets; Investing in Human Capital Development; and Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities.

3. We welcomed the participation of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the APEC Secretariat and APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU).

4. Global economic performance remains modest and uneven overall. We welcome the strengthening economic activity in some economies, but note that global growth has fallen short of our expectations. Economies continue to face headwinds including weak final demand and volatility in financial markets. We acknowledge the Finance Ministers’ Statement reaffirming their previous commitments on monetary and exchange rate policies, and on refraining from competitive devaluation and on resisting all forms of protectionism.

5. The Asia-Pacific continues to be the world’s most dynamic region and has outperformed most other regions. This positive result flows from our commitment to the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, and our work to achieve regional economic integration which builds our economic foundations on the basis of individual and collective efforts to free and open trade.

6. Now more than ever, we need a comprehensive, strategic, and broad-based approach to confront the challenges and to seize opportunities, founded on the principles of accountability, transparency, openness, and inclusion. Institution building, financial inclusion, environmental protection, disaster risk reduction, and social cohesion will be critical to sustaining inclusive growth. Our innovative, resourceful, and entrepreneurial people compel us to provide them with an enabling environment in which to grow and flourish. Our region’s rich natural resources in both land and sea, if managed wisely with due regard for the environment and sustainability, will provide significant means to achieve wealth and economic and job security.

7. We welcome continued efforts to mainstream gender equality in APEC processes and activities and we reaffirm the vital contribution of women to economic development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. Women, as prime movers of inclusive growth, make significant contributions to the economy through their participation in labor markets, inclusive business, international markets, and global value chains (GVCs).

8. We will structure our policies to support strong, sustainable, balanced, innovative, secure, and inclusive growth. We are committed to taking concrete steps and joint actions to foster peace, stability, prosperity, economic growth and development in the region, for a sustainable Asia-Pacific partnership, and to jointly build an open economy in the Asia-Pacific that is based on innovative development, interconnected growth, and shared interest. We commend the substantial work to implement undertakings from previous years.

9. To this end, here in Manila we commit to the following actions:

APEC Overarching Initiatives

Support for the Multilateral Trading System

10. We uphold the commitment to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO. Recognizing the significant achievements of the WTO since its establishment twenty years ago and the importance of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 15-18 December 2015, we recommend that Leaders issue a separate Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trading System and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference.

Bogor Goals

11. We uphold our commitment towards achieving the Bogor Goals by 2020, and note additional initiatives to address vulnerable populations, bridge the development gaps, and alleviate poverty. We reaffirm the importance of APEC’s Individual Action Plan (IAP) process , and its continuous improvement through the revised IAP template as a means to track our progress in achieving the Bogor Goals. We look forward to the Second-Term Review in 2016 of economies’ progress towards the Bogor Goals.

APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth

12. We endorse for Leaders’ adoption the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth. Building on the 2010 APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy and bearing in mind the commitments in the 2014 APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth, the APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth strengthens cooperation and capacity building in achieving balanced, inclusive, innovative, secure, and sustainable growth by focusing on key accountability areas: institution building, social cohesion, and environmental impact. We encourage the private sector’s participation in developing whole-of-economy, whole-of-society approaches towards ensuring dynamic and quality growth.

Anti-Corruption

13. Guided by the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency, the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency, the Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency and the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, we reaffirm our strong commitment to fighting corruption and bribery, and promoting international cooperation in the areas of repatriation or extradition of corrupt officials, asset recovery, criminalization, and prevention of corruption among APEC member economies.

14. We welcome the work of the recently organized APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) to advance pragmatic cooperation in fighting corruption, bribery, money laundering, and illicit trade, as well as in the identification and return of the proceeds of those crimes, where appropriate, and subject to domestic laws and policies.

15. We recognize the need to disrupt the growing convergence of corruption and illicit trade including environmental crimes. We encourage stronger cross-border cooperation and more innovative pathfinding approaches among economies including through public-private partnerships, in order to better combat the harmful effects of the illegal economy and to promote cultures of integrity across borders, markets, and supply chains.

16. We welcome the Cebu Manifesto for the Protection of Anti-Corruption Officials and acknowledge the important role of anti-corruption officials in the detection, investigation, prosecution, and prevention of corrupt activities. We further encourage economies to take all appropriate measures to protect anti-corruption officials at the domestic and international fronts.

APEC Services Cooperation Framework

17. Trade in services is growing rapidly, and is projected to outpace our trade in goods not just in value, but in the depth and breadth of economic engagement throughout society. We endorse for Leaders’ adoption the APEC Services Cooperation Framework (ASCF) to provide impetus for a deeper understanding of services and the policy and regulatory settings that will best facilitate innovative, productive, and vibrant services sectors. This will equip economies with the right tools to formulate policies appropriate to their needs, recognizing that open, transparent, and competitive services sectors help create jobs, produce quality goods, harness opportunities for businesses, spur economic growth, widen choices for consumers, improve living standards, and alleviate poverty. We support the development of an APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap in 2016, consistent with the ASCF.

Support for the APEC 2015 Priorities

Priority 1: Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda

Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)

18. We commend the progress in the implementation of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP and welcome its Progress Report. We also commend the launch of the Collective Strategic Study on Issues Related to the Realization of the FTAAP, including the establishment of the task force and core drafting group, the development of the Terms of Reference, Consolidated Work Plan, and Editing Mechanism for final editing of the study. We look forward to Senior Officials’ submission of a comprehensive study and accompanying recommendations by the end of 2016. We welcome the summary report of the outcomes of the Seminar on the FTAAP held in August 2015, various workshops under the 2nd phase of the Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) and policy dialogues under the Information Sharing Mechanism for RTAs/FTAs. Noting the recent developments in the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations in the region, we reaffirm our belief contained in the Pathways to FTAAP that an FTAAP should be pursued as a comprehensive free trade agreement by developing and building on ongoing regional undertakings.

Environmental Goods and Services

19. We recognize the importance of trade-enhancing solutions to address environmental challenges and achieve green growth. We commend the economies that are on track to fulfill the ground-breaking commitment to reduce applied tariffs on the APEC List of 54 Environmental Goods to five percent or less by the end of this year, as agreed by our Leaders in 2012. We urge economies yet to fully implement the commitment to intensify their efforts to meet the deadline. We instruct officials to consolidate all economies’ final implementation plans by the end of the year and to publish these plans on the APEC website.

20. We welcome the endorsement of the Environmental Services Action Plan (ESAP) to promote liberalization, facilitation, and cooperation in environmental services. We instruct officials to implement actions under the ESAP. We look forward to the progress in implementation by 2018 for interim review and 2020 for final review.

Structural Reform

21. We endorse the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR) as the continuation of APEC’s structural reform work program until 2020, which strives to stimulate balanced and sustainable growth and reduce inequality. We commit to accelerate our efforts to address institution building in our economies through structural reform and capacity building focused on economic governance, encouraging unilateral reforms aimed at further improving the services sector, regulatory infrastructure, and competition policy. In endorsing the RAASR, we welcome the APEC PSU report Assessing the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) and Advancing the APEC Structural Reform Agenda Beyond 2015 and its recommendations to strengthen APEC’s structural reform agenda going forward.

22. We commit to work across the APEC platform, particularly through the Economic Committee (EC), on the RAASR by incorporating the fundamental elements of structural reform, including regulatory reform, strengthening economic and legal infrastructure, competition policy, corporate governance, and public sector management.

23. We commend member economies’ contributions to the ongoing Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) initiative and welcome the EC’s plans to develop the APEC EoDB Implementation Plan to guide capacity building as we strive to meet a new aspirational target of a 10 percent improvement by 2018.

24. We endorse the 2015 APEC Economic Policy Report on Structural Reform and Innovation, and its recommendations to harness the growth potential that innovation can provide through effective structural reform policies. We look forward to the 2016 APEC Economic Policy Report on Structural Reform and Services, as well as the 2016 Conference on Good Regulatory Practice on the topic of “building high level support for reform”.

Finance

25. We welcome the launch of the Cebu Action Plan (CAP) under the APEC Finance Ministers’ Process (FMP), which works on four pillars: (i) promoting financial integration; (ii) advancing fiscal reforms and transparency; (iii) enhancing financial resiliency; and (iv) accelerating infrastructure development and financing. We recognize that regional financial development and integration in APEC are needed, while balancing other considerations, such as investor protection, market integrity, regulatory conditions, monitoring de-risking, and financial stability, as these will pave the way for greater intra-regional trade and investment, and facilitate the development of more inclusive financial markets across APEC. We acknowledge that fiscal reforms to improve governance and fiscal transparency can achieve greater inclusiveness and fiscal sustainability, allow for broad participation in the budgeting process, and enhance management of tax expenditures, subsidies, and government liabilities. We value the role of financial resilience to sustainable and inclusive growth. Financial resilience can be boosted through continued macroeconomic cooperation among economies, including the sharing of experiences in macroprudential policy frameworks and resilience to external capital flow volatility. We reiterate that quality infrastructure development and financing is a key priority for the region, given the demands for connectivity across economies and within economies.

26. We recognize that given the varying levels of development and domestic circumstances across APEC economies, the CAP is voluntary and non-binding, and that the initiatives and deliverables in the roadmap are broadly beneficial to APEC as a whole. The CAP continues the progress towards the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, as well as the Kyoto Report on the growth strategy and finance of identifying priorities for future growth in the APEC region and a living document that can be used as a reference for the activities of the FMP. We encourage economies to work together to implement domestically, regionally, and globally applicable CAP initiatives and deliverables to promote intra-regional trade and investments, connectivity, infrastructure development, and MSME and supply chain financing.

Investment Facilitation

27. We welcome the Investment Facilitation Action Plan (IFAP) priority actions for 2015-2016 and encourage members to take on specific IFAP actions, on a voluntary basis, to support a more predictable and transparent investment climate and strengthen the role of investment as a driver of growth and jobs.

Infrastructure Investment

28. We welcome the publication of the Guidebook on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Frameworks in the APEC Region and recognize the value of the report as a reference for APEC economies in developing PPP infrastructure frameworks. We also commit to build on ongoing initiatives outlined in the 2014 and 2015 Finance Ministerial Statements including capacity building, continuing to build on the work and implement initiatives laid out by the PPP Experts Advisory Panel. We likewise support partnerships with international organizations and long-term financing and funding support for PPP projects in the region.

Continuing Work on Services

29. We welcome continued work to increase the transparency of services trade-related regulations, facilitate services trade and investment, and develop open services markets. We welcome the APEC Virtual Knowledge Center on Services as a knowledge-sharing and collaborative platform which directly contributes to the pursuit of the objectives of the ASCF. We welcome the updated Services Trade Access Requirements (STAR) Database and agree to explore expansion to additional services sectors. We encourage officials to leverage existing services work and indices developed by other international fora in pursuing the ASCF objectives.

30. We welcome the PSU study on APEC Work on Services and Baseline Indicators. We encourage economies to consider the recommendations of the PSU study in the multi-year implementation of the Action Plan on Statistics on Trade in Services and other areas of APEC’s work on services.

31. We welcome the recommendations of the APEC 2015 Public-Private Dialogues (PPDs) on Services and the Regional Conference of Services Coalitions, and encourage further engagement between the public and private sectors to address impediments to and to facilitate services trade growth.

32. We welcome the results of the APEC Symposia on Good Policy and Regulatory Practices for Facilitating Trade and Investment in Mining and Energy Services, and Telecommunication and ICT Services, and look forward to the upcoming Symposium on Good Policy and Regulatory Practices for Facilitating Trade and Investment in Architecture and Engineering Services. We look forward to the publication of an APEC Compendium of good practice in services in 2016, based on the eight symposia organized to date.

Next Generation Trade and Investment Issues (NGeTI)

33. We commend the work on manufacturing-related services as a next generation trade and investment issue and welcome the endorsement of the Manufacturing Related Services Action Plan and the case studies undertaken by the PSU this year. We recognize the contributions of the Action Plan to the Bogor Goals and to the vision of the ASCF, with its sector-specific approach. Looking forward to the outcome of the implementation of the Action Plan, we urge economies to take concrete actions under the Key Action Agenda.

34. We also welcome the development of the Work Plan for Advancing Facilitating Digital Trade for Inclusive Growth as a Potential NGeTI and instruct officials to implement the Work Plan’s activities including the conduct of Trade Policy Dialogues and independent research by the PSU.

Transparency and Trade Facilitation

35. We welcome the launch of the APEC Trade Repository (APECTR) as a one-stop portal for information on trade-related regulations. We instruct officials to ensure its relevance and comprehensiveness in line with our commitment to greater transparency and predictability in trade.

Global Value Chain Cooperation

36. We welcome the Progress Report on the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain (GVC) Development and Cooperation and instruct officials to advance the implementation of the Strategic Blueprint through the initiatives and work plans under the different work streams. We commit to work towards a more focused GVC evolution inclusive of MSMEs to facilitate sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth in the Asia-Pacific region including through enhancing the resilience of GVCs to various risks such as natural and man-made disasters.

37. We welcome the work to explore actions on improving the investment climate for GVC development through the study and the related public-private dialogues to be conducted in sub-regions in 2016. We instruct officials to advance this work with a view to further facilitating cross-border investment flows in GVCs.

38. We welcome the meetings of the Technical Group on Measurement of APEC Trade in Value Added (TiVA) under Global Value Chains and urge officials to implement the Terms of Reference on the Operational Mechanism and Work Plan of the Technical Group. We welcome the preparatory work undertaken on the construction of the APEC TiVA Database and anticipate its completion by 2018. We encourage more inputs from members and other stakeholders to the construction of the database. We note that information on MSMEs is crucial to the design of policies and programs aimed at MSME growth and internationalization by fostering the linking and matching of sources of MSME-relevant information.

39. We welcome the results of the trade policy dialogue on how the 2013 APEC Best Practices to Create Jobs and Increase Competitiveness could be applied to other types of localization policies. We instruct officials to continue to identify alternatives to localization policies and develop best practices as a means to foster job creation and increase competitiveness.

40. We reiterate the importance of collaborative efforts to enhance cross-border value chain resilience as an emerging trade and investment issue in the region. We welcome the endorsement of the APEC Guidebook on Resilience of GVCs to Natural Disasters and the capacity building seminar in 2016 for promoting efforts to enhance resilience of GVCs to natural disasters, contributing in particular to improving the investment environment and enhancing MSMEs’ participation in GVCs, as well as to disaster risk reduction.

41. In view of the important elements of complementarity in trade and investment in strengthening Regional Value Chains in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), we look forward to the Study on the Enhancement of Integration of Regional Value Chains in Asia and LAC, as well as PPD to be held in 2016.

Supply Chain Connectivity

42. We note the interim progress report on the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP) provided by the PSU and the implementation of the Action Plan in support of our Leaders’ APEC-wide target of achieving a 10 percent improvement in supply chain performance as we progress towards a complete final assessment of SCFAP in 2016.

43. We encourage APEC’s continued participation in the Capacity Building Plan to Improve Supply Chain Performance (CBPISCP), particularly on pre-arrival processing, expedited shipments, advance rulings, release of goods, and electronic payments. We appreciate the contributions of the APEC Alliance on Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) as an advisory group in the implementation of the CBPISCP and look forward to A2C2 continuing this important work.

44. We welcome the progress of pilot projects by volunteer economies to demonstrate the benefits and challenges in using interoperable Global Data Standards (GDS). We look forward to the outcomes of the PSU study on the Application of GDS for Supply Chain Connectivity, which will assess GDS costs and benefits based on the pilot projects and establish a set of policy-based recommendations to promote the wider use of interoperable GDS. We encourage more economies to make use of pilot projects for first-hand experience and capacity building on GDS, and note that the wine pilot has already commenced in November 2015, and other pilots including pharmaceutical products are expected to be launched in 2016.

45. We welcome the launch of the Tianjin Pilot Center of APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chains (GSCNET), and the outcomes of the GSCNET Dialogue held in May. We endorse the Work Plan of the GSCNET and encourage members to establish more Pilot Centers to promote cooperation to this end.

Customs Procedures

46. We commend the work on customs trade facilitation and secure travel and trade. We welcome the endorsement of the APEC Principles on the Movement of Humanitarian Goods and Equipment during Emergencies and encourage officials to apply them to our continuing efforts to reduce barriers to the movement of goods to disaster areas. We look forward to the progress of work on the Single Window, Advanced Risk Management, Passenger Name Record, and Authorized Economic Operators (AEO). We also look forward to the completion of APEC Best Practices on Authorized Economic Operators in 2016 which will help develop trade facilitation frameworks that allow efficient transport of legitimate cargo processing, in line with World Customs Organization instruments, tools and standards, and will widen the network of AEO mutual recognition arrangements.

47. We commend the work on the Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network (APMEN) and welcome the establishment of the APMEN Operational Center, the PPD and the second meeting of the Joint Operational Group of APMEN in Shanghai. We endorse the Strategic Framework and the Working Mechanism of APMEN and encourage more economies to join the APMEN.

48. As we harness ICT for cross-border trade, we instruct officials to look into the development of the e-port and single window systems, taking into consideration ICT technology accessibility, economies’ levels of development, and the ongoing work in APEC.

49. We welcome the progress achieved by APEC member economies in the area of cross border e-commerce aiming at facilitating its development and the result of the first APEC workshop on customs control over cross border e-commerce.

Rural Development

50. We welcome the work undertaken in carrying out the 2013 mandate of exploring trade in products which contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth through rural development and poverty alleviation, and task officials to continue work in this area.

Inclusive Business

51. We welcome the results of the PPD on Investment: Fostering MSME Growth through Inclusive Business and the High-Level Dialogue on Inclusive Business. We instruct officials to undertake more work on understanding inclusive business in major sectors, especially agribusiness, manufacturing, housing, tourism, forestry and fisheries, and its role in sustainable and inclusive growth through sharing of experiences and by collaborating with relevant international organizations.

Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity

52. We reaffirm our commitment to the overarching goal of a seamless, comprehensively connected, and integrated Asia-Pacific by implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025. We encourage member economies to undertake specific actions under the pillars of physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity. We encourage Senior Officials to implement the agreed Dedicated Arrangement to Monitor, Review, and Evaluate the Implementation of the Blueprint.

53. We commend member economies’ efforts to advance infrastructure development including through the APEC Multi-Year Plan on Infrastructure Development and Investment (MYPIDI). We welcome the Reference Guide for Peer Review and Capacity Building on APEC Infrastructure Development and Investment, the progress of the Study on Infrastructure Investment in the APEC Region, and the progress on the Promoting Cruise Visits to Ports in the APEC Region, and on the Exploration on the Strengthening of Maritime Connectivity initiatives.

54. We also commend economies’ initiatives to achieve comprehensive regional connectivity, which is being jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all. We encourage economies to further implement these initiatives in order to promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds in the Asia-Pacific region.

Transportation

55. We commit to accelerate our efforts to enhance productivity through safe, secure, 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, while recognizing the importance of aviation and maritime safety and security.

56. We support the diversification of transport and logistics supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region to enhance APEC’s connectivity and economic growth. We recognize that the ITS and Global Navigation Satellite Systems are crucial to create commercial, safe, and secure supply chains.

57. We encourage the Transportation Working Group (TPTWG) to begin working on reducing marine pollution from ships operating in the APEC region through capacity building, aimed at enhancing economies’ ability to effectively enforce the MARPOL 73/78.

58. We welcome the work to support the implementation of the APEC Supply-Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan through projects including: Promoting Regional Economic Integration by Deriving Supply Chain Connectivity Benefits over Cross-Cutting Issues in Transport, Energy, Environment and Human Health; Global Supply Chain Resilience (Phase 3); and International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code Implementation Assistance Program (ICIAP). We support the APEC Seven Principles of Supply Chain Resilience and commit to its multi-year implementation.

59. We recognize that an open and liberal international aviation regime and developed international air services are essential to continued economic growth and trade facilitation in the APEC region. We encourage economies to actively continue to pursue the goal of market access liberalization through existing avenues including bilateral and multilateral agreements, for example, the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation, and the exploration of additional avenues in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) long-term vision for international air transport liberalization.

60. We also welcome the progress of various initiatives including the development of an APEC Connectivity Map, an APEC Inclusive Mobility Framework, PPP Best Practices, and Quality Transport Vision, and efforts to reduce aviation emissions. We acknowledge the establishment of a task force for an APEC-wide transport card in the TPTWG.

Tourism

61. We endorse the State of APEC Tourism Report and encourage efforts to achieve the target of 800 million international tourists among APEC economies by 2025 as stated by Tourism Ministers in the 2014 Macao Declaration.

62. We endorse the Tourism Working Group’s (TWG) Strategic Plan 2015-2019 to promote competitiveness and regional economic integration through policy alignment and structural reform, and welcome Peru’s hosting of the Tourism Ministerial Meeting in 2016.

63. We encourage relevant Working Groups to work closely with the TWG to promote green, sustainable, and inclusive tourism development, increase connectivity, improve travel facilitation, invest in infrastructure to support demand, ensure sustainable use of cultural and environmental assets, and develop a mobile and skilled workforce to propel the growth of travel and tourism in the APEC region.

Travel Facilitation

64. We note the mid-term assessment of the Travel Facilitation Initiative (TFI) and we instruct officials to consider and implement the necessary recommendations to make the TFI as effective and efficient as possible.

65. We commend the extension of validity of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) from three to a maximum of five years beginning 1 September 2015. We appreciate the efforts of transitional members of the ABTC scheme to become full members.

Internet and Digital Economy

66. We commit to take a constructive role in promoting the internet and digital economy and strengthening efforts to harness its full potential as an enabler of inclusive economic growth, and encourage secure cross-border flows of information, taking into account the need to bridge the digital divide. We welcome the progress in implementing the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy. We recognize the importance of the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rule (CBPR) Systems to facilitate trade, and welcome the increased participation of APEC economies in the CBPR System. We note the role of the Ad Hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy which will promote cooperation and facilitate technological and policy exchanges, and look forward to its stock-take of APEC initiatives on cross-cutting internet and digital economy issues.

Telecommunications and Information

67. We welcome the increased collaboration by the Telecommunication and Information Working Group (TELWG) with other APEC fora, including coordination with the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery through the development of ICTs and appropriate systems; with the Ad Hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy and the Electronic-Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) on the benefits of the Internet and Digital Economy; with the Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) on the promotion of safe, efficient, low-cost, and inclusive internet financial services for MSMEs; and with the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) on facilitating women’s livelihood development and resilience with ICTs.

68. We encourage the implementation of the TELWG Strategic Action Plan 2016-2020 which promotes online connectivity, and the development of the ECSG strategic plan, which together will help maximize the potential of the internet in unlocking next generation growth across Asia-Pacific. We welcome the efforts of TELWG to cooperate with other fora to ensure a secure and trusted ICT environment, which would foster economic development.

Regulatory Coherence and Cooperation

69. We welcome the results of the 8th Conference on Good Regulatory Practices and its contribution to creating a sound regulatory environment and advancing regulatory coherence and cooperation. We welcome the update on the 2013 Baseline Study of Good Regulatory Practices in APEC Member Economies and the outcomes of the EC workshop on International Regulatory Cooperation: Cooperation in Action, and encourage economies to continue sharing practical experiences and knowledge about undertaking regulatory cooperation in different ways. We support the theme of building high level support for regulatory reform (including international regulatory cooperation) at next year’s Conference on Good Regulatory Practices in Peru.

70. We will continue to implement initiatives on regulatory coherence and cooperation and maximize the role of the internet and information technology to strengthen the implementation of public consultation and other good regulatory practices.

71. Through the APEC Regulatory Cooperation Advancement Mechanism (ARCAM) on Trade-related Standards and Technical Regulations, we note the endorsement of the Principles for Government’s Role in Promoting Effective Advertising Standards and instruct officials to advance work in this area in 2016, and encourage continued discussions on implementation of the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practices and other relevant issues that may be identified.

Intellectual Property

72. We recognize the importance of promoting the protection and enforcement of an effective, comprehensive, and balanced intellectual property (IP) system to incentivize creativity and create an enabling environment for innovation. We recognize that MSMEs can leverage their IP assets such as brands and trademarks for growth and expansion to assist MSMEs develop competitive and global brands. We welcome the report on Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement in APEC Economies and acknowledge that trade secrets protections are useful in helping MSMEs go global and we welcome further work on this issue. We welcome the progress towards developing the APEC Best Practices in Trade Secrets Protection and Enforcement and encourage officials to continue the work and to complete it on the basis of consensus at the earliest possible time. We agree to foster cooperation in intellectual property rights promotion, protection and enforcement, and enhance MSMEs’ capacity for IP commercialization, IP marketing, and reduction of innovation risks in IP management.

73. We recognize the need to support quality research activities of academic and research institutions particularly in the areas of innovation and technological advancements and to promote their resulting IP assets towards adoption and utilization.

Standards and Conformance

74. We note the work of the Wine Regulatory Forum, under the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), on the model wine export certificate as a means to streamline export certificate requirements. We instruct officials to explore other areas where similar trade facilitative initiatives may be applied.

Food Safety Cooperation

75. We commend the efforts of the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) to promote regulatory frameworks harmonized with science-based international standards, improve food safety, and ensure predictability and transparency in agri-food trade and the role it can play in building capacity and confidence, ultimately reducing non-tariff barriers (NTBs.) We look forward to the outcomes of the APEC FSCF’s continued work on regulatory convergence through continuation of work in the areas of export certificates and pesticide maximum residue limits as part of the APEC Regulatory Cooperation Plan. We note the successful completion of the FSCF PTIN capacity building activities in food inspections systems, laboratories and proficiency testing, aquaculture, antimicrobial resistance control strategies, and updates on domestic food safety standards. We commend the outcomes achieved through the FSCF PTIN Roundtable on Effective Industry/Regulator Cooperation and affirm the roundtable’s emphasis on the critical role stakeholders play in developing food safety regulation.

76. We welcome the establishment of centers of excellence for biomedical regulatory sciences in the region and look forward to strengthening our ability to reach regulatory convergence for medical product approval procedures among others by 2020.

Industry Dialogues

77. We welcome the adoption of the Roadmap for Electric Vehicles to facilitate the adoption and implementation of international standards for electric vehicles, and we encourage officials to continue work on this issue in 2016.

78. We welcome the research undertaken by the Chemical Dialogue to better understand divergences in theimplementation of the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and look forward to a report from the Chemical Dialogue in 2016 on the implementation of measures to reduce these divergences. We welcome the work of the APEC regulatory community to strengthen capacity in the scientific assessment of metals and metal compounds, as well as the work of the Chemical Dialogue with EC on Good Regulatory Practices.

Priority 2: Fostering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)’ Participation in Regional and Global Markets

79. We support the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs and welcome its Implementation Plan which demonstrates our firm commitment to pursue actions that are practical and important for MSMEs’ participation in global trade. We instruct officials to identify areas of convergence across relevant APEC fora and work with ABAC on the complementarity of projects and efficient use of resources in implementing MSME initiatives.

80. We welcome the collaboration between the SCSC and SMEWG on standards and conformance as key to enhancing the competitiveness of MSMEs. We look forward to the development of a workplan to address standards and conformance issues faced by MSMEs.

81. We uphold our commitment to a fair and accountable competition policy regime to facilitate inclusive growth and provide a predictable business environment, particularly for MSMEs, consistent with the principles of good regulatory practices approved by the APEC Ministers in 2014.

82. We remain committed to realizing the full potential of women as economic actors in the global economy and encourage the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship as vital to sustainable and inclusive growth. We shall continue to support women-owned MSMEs to strengthen their competitiveness and ability to participate in local and global value chains.

MSMEs in Global Supply and Value Chains

83. We welcome the work on SMEs’ Participation in GVCs to implement the APEC Strategic Blueprint on GVC Development and Cooperation. We note the progress reports on the five major industries: information technology and electronics, automotive, textiles, healthcare products, and agribusiness. We instruct officials to continue cross-fora and industry consultations and networking activities in developing practical initiatives that will integrate MSMEs in GVCs. We welcome continued efforts in strengthening and developing the APEC Accelerator Network through early investment.

84. We welcome the results of the GVC MSME Automotive Sector survey which identified non-tariff measures that continue to challenge MSMEs’ participation in the automotive sector GVC. We will address these challenges through better policies and targeted capacity building.

85. We welcome the APEC Iloilo Initiative: Growing Global SMEs for Inclusive Development, a guiding framework for integrating SMEs into international trade and GVCs. We welcome the APEC MSME Marketplace as a tool to promote cooperation and linkage across MSMEs and other stakeholders. We look forward to the development in 2016 of SME internationalization indices that would serve as a measurement of the degree of SMEs’ integration into GVCs.

ICT and E-Commerce for MSMEs

86. We recognize the important role of e-commerce as a vehicle for MSMEs to participate in the global market. We welcome the proposal to Promote E-commerce to Globalize MSMEs, and note the proposal on Enabling Inclusive Growth through the Internet Economy and member economies’ efforts to promote Online-to-Offline (O2O) new business models.

87. We welcome the Digital Economy Action Plan for MSMEs and Work Agenda for MSMEs as concrete and practical steps that APEC could undertake to accelerate MSMEs’ access to international markets.

Access to Finance for MSMEs

88. We recognize the importance of encouraging financial institutions to evaluate the business models and growth potential of individual MSMEs in order to improve access to finance, and of creating a seamless financial environment for MSMEs to enhance access to GVCs. We recognize the role of public finance, such as credit guarantee systems designed for MSMEs’ operational continuity. We support efforts for closer collaboration with relevant public and private sector institutions. We welcome the commitment by the private sector and international finance organizations to collaborate with the public sector to promote legal and policy reforms that will help expand financing for MSMEs and support their participation in supply chains. We welcome the collaborative efforts of the World Bank Group, SME Finance Forum, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), ABAC, and interested APEC member economies, in establishing a Financial Infrastructure Development Network under the CAP.

Resilient MSMEs

89. We call for greater efforts to promote MSMEs’ resilience against unexpected events, disasters, and financial crises in order to improve global supply chain resilience. We welcome the publication of the Business Continuity Planning Guidebook in seven languages and the APEC SME Disaster Resilient Policy Framework.

90. We welcome the progress of the APEC Business Ethics for SME Initiative in addressing unethical practices in sectors of export interest to MSMEs, doubling the number of medical devices and biopharmaceutical industry association codes of ethics from 33 in 2012 to 66 in 2015. We welcome the APEC Guide to Implement Multi-Stakeholder Ethical Collaborations in these sectors and encourage member economies to advance the goals of the Nanjing Declaration to Promote Ethical Business Environments through 2020.

Priority 3: Investing in Human Capital Development

91. We recognize human capital development as an essential measure to achieve and sustain economic growth, especially through the services sector. We commit to follow through on the goals of the APEC’s work programs in line with this priority area.

Human Resource Development and Skills Training

92. We commit to the goals of the Port Moresby Joint Statement on the 2015 High-Level Policy Dialogue on Human Capacity Building to enhance strategic cooperation in human capital development geared towards developing 21st century skills that are aligned with global education and training best practices, and that increase people’s employability, productivity, and ability to respond to emerging business demands.

93. We welcome efforts to advance human resource development competitiveness in the region, to facilitate the mobility of skilled labor, and to ensure the quality of skills and competencies that meet the supply chain demands of the region. We commit to promote projects such as the APEC Labor Market Portal, APEC Occupational Standards Referencing Framework, APEC Skills Development Capacity Building Alliance, APEC Vocational Training Project in Cooperation with Enterprises, and efforts to ensure quality of training.

94. We support the APEC Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG) 2015-2018 Action Plan and its initiatives directed towards vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society, such as persons with disabilities, women and youth, as well as mobile workers. We welcome the outcomes of the APEC Seminar on Facilitating Human Resource Mobility by Enhancing Social Protection, which recognizes the contributions of global workers to economic growth. We call on the APEC HRDWG to identify policy priorities concerning global workers and address gaps in enhancing their social protection.

95. We recognize that the success of a safe, secure, effective and seamless transport system in the APEC region depends largely on the competence of human resources. Therefore, we encourage economies to put more effort into collaborating on developing joint personnel training on smart and green supply chain connectivity.

Education

96. We endorse the Joint Statement of the 1st High-Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education aimed at advancing cross-border education, inter-university collaboration on science and technology, and the international mobility of academics, researchers, and students as drivers of technological advancements, innovation, and economic growth. We commit to strengthen efforts that put science, technology, and innovation as well as higher education at the forefront of economic policy-making and strategic planning, following the mandate of the APEC 2012 Leaders’ Declaration on Promoting Cross-Border Education Cooperation.

97. We welcome the results of the 4th APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education in Vladivostok, which met under the theme Human Capital Development for Inclusive Economic Growth to explore human resource development, to enhance the link between human capacity building and employment needs through effective mechanisms for cross-border education and collaboration between universities and businesses across APEC.

98. We welcome the preparations for the 2016 APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM), to advance our work on cross-border education, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, educational innovation, work-integrated learning, qualifications frameworks, among others. The 6th AEMM will be co-chaired by Peru, as host, and Russia and organized in coordination with the HRDWG and its networks (Education Network (EDNET), Labor and Social Protection Network (LSPN), and Capacity Building Network (CBN)).

99. We welcome the early realization of our 2020 target of 1 million intra-APEC university-level students per year. We will further support the enhancement of mobility of students, researchers, and education providers, including economies’ contributions to the APEC Scholarship Initiative. We welcome the establishment of the APEC Higher Education Research Center and its initiatives and activities that strengthen higher education exchange and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. We support efforts for economies to cooperate on education best practices such as through the development of APEC Education Cooperation strategies, based on the report of the Education Cooperation Project to be submitted to the 6th AEMM. We reaffirm our Leaders’ commitment to promote cross-border education cooperation and encourage economies to update and advance the APEC Workplan on Promoting Cross-Border Education Cooperation.

Science & Technology

100. We endorse the Policy Partnership of Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) Policy Statement on the development of common approaches to STI policies that encourage joint R&D and STI activities, advise APEC policy-making, and support commercialization and popularization of research and market-based innovations through policy translation.

101. We welcome the continuous efforts to stimulate health science innovation through the APEC Bio-Medical Technology Commercialization Training Centers.

102. We note the importance of science in disaster risk reduction and welcome the recent discussion of the Chief Science Advisors and Equivalents (CSAE) Meeting on how the provision of science advice before, during and after emergencies can contribute to risk reduction and effective disaster response. We look forward to the CSAE’s continued inputs that support the activities of existing APEC policy partnerships and working groups. The CSAE is well positioned to provide effective science advice in an APEC context, acting as a collective resource within the region, in a manner similar to the roles played in their individual economies.

103. We encourage continued engagement of all stakeholders, including the science community, in finding long-term solutions and integrated approaches to addressing the effects of climate change. We welcome the results of the 2015. APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE) with its theme Disaster Risk Reduction: Understanding the Role of Climate Change and Variability which promotes the cross-border scientific collaboration that is critical to solving the region’s shared challenges. We welcome the progress of the APEC Internet of Vehicles and APEC Smart City projects, and the APEC Regional Workshop on Measurement Challenges in Renewable Energy and Climate Science.

Women and the Economy

104. We endorse the Strategic Plan of the PPWE 2015-2018 to advance women’s full and equal economic participation across the APEC work streams, in particular through improved access to capital and assets; access to markets; skills, capacity building, and health; women’s leadership, voice, and agency; and innovation and technology. We welcome the revision of the PPWE Terms of Reference which now allows the holding of up to two annual PPWE meetings, if necessary.

105. We welcome initiatives to ensure mainstreaming of gender perspectives in APEC. These include: Women and the Economy Dashboard; Policy Toolkit on Healthy Women, Healthy Economies; Women’s Entrepreneurship in APEC (WE-APEC); the 50 Leading Companies for Women in APEC; the Individual Action Plan for the Enhancement of the Ratio of Women’s Representation in Leadership; the Multi-Year project on Innovation for Women and Economic Development on women’s access to technology and ICT tools; the Good Practices of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Local Communities in the Process of Disaster Reconstruction initiative; Promoting SME development: Assisting Women-led SMEs Access the Global Market; and the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals.

106. We commend the work of the Women in Transportation Task Force within the TPTWG and the framework for women’s inclusion in transportation through education, recruitment, retention, leadership, and safe use and access to transportation systems. We support the use of data collection to track the effectiveness of actions to increase women’s inclusion in transportation.

107. We also encourage economies to promote women’s representation and leadership in all sectors and encourage fora to share best practices for expanding women’s education, recruitment, and retention.

Health

108. We encourage economies to implement the Roadmap for the Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 which identifies five critical success factors in overcoming health challenges: (a) securing a whole-of-government commitment to health; (b) establishing platforms for policy dialogue and stakeholder engagement; (c) promote prevention, control and awareness in health care; (d) enabling innovation; and (e) enhance intersectoral and cross-border collaboration. We urge economies to develop sustainable and high performing health systems and promote health development and well-being through a holistic approach with a view to achieving Universal Health Coverage as outlined in the statement from the 5th High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy. We recommend convening a cross-fora dialogue in 2016 to discuss innovative ways of ensuring that our workforce remains healthy and competitive. We welcome the launch of the APEC Health Sciences Academy at Peking University.

109. We urge all APEC economies to focus on improving health emergency preparedness, surveillance, and response and recovery systems for public health events. We call on economies to continue to implement the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Health Regulations (2005), where appropriate. We welcome the development of the APEC Working Manual of Health Hotline Responding to Public Health Emergencies, the APEC Healthcare Acquired Infections Policy Guidelines, the APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap, and the establishment of the Blood Supply Chain Partnership Training Network.

110. We recognize addressing mental illness as a priority health need and we affirm our support to the WHO Mental Health Action Plan. We welcome initiatives in APEC to share best practices and promote innovative partnerships to improve access to mental health services such as efforts to establish an interactive digital hub by year’s end to promote mental wellness in the region.

111. We call on economies to reduce barriers to trade and investment in the supply chain of healthcare products. We support the establishment of an APEC Regulatory Sciences Center of Excellence (COE) for multi-regional clinical trials to promote global drug development and training on good clinical practices and reach regulatory convergence for medical product approval procedures by 2020.

112. We commit to support one another in building the necessary capacity to effectively prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. We welcome private sector contributions in some economies to infection prevention and control through initiatives, such as the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), including through support packages, such as hand hygiene that will help to accelerate capacity to implement WHO International Health Regulations and programs related to bolstering infection prevention and control, and reducing anti-microbial resistance, provided that such efforts do not duplicate or substitute the WHO and other pertinent universal organizations and international legal instruments in this area.

Persons with Disabilities

113. We commit to enhance the economic empowerment of persons with disabilities and endeavor to eliminate barriers to their economic participation. We reaffirm their significant role in economic development as agents and beneficiaries in the process of building inclusive economies and we encourage officials to take measures to promote the value of persons with disabilities as workers, investors and participants in economic development. We commend the work of the APEC Group of Friends on Disability to promote sharing of information, resources, and good practices that will advance the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the economy.

Priority 4: Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities

Climate Change

114. Bearing in mind that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all economies to achieve sustainable development, we recognize that urgent and concrete action is required to address climate change. We affirm our commitment to cooperate closely toward the adoption of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris to be held in December 2015.

115. We acknowledge the importance of strengthening early warning systems for climate resilient development and adaptation to climate change. We encourage continued engagement of all stakeholders, including the science community, in finding long-term solutions and integrated approaches to adapting to climate change. We support activities of the APEC Climate Center (APCC), including the provision of reliable climate information and development of application techniques by utilizing the most advanced scientific technologies.

Energy

116. We encourage efforts to achieve the APEC aspirational target of reducing aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2035 through collaboration on energy-efficient and low carbon development including efforts to reduce the energy intensity of growing data centers in APEC. We also encourage economies to prioritize clean and renewable energy technologies, taking into account APEC’s aspirational goal of doubling the share of renewables in the APEC energy mix, including in power generation, from 2010 levels by 2030.

117. We endorse the Energy Ministers’ establishment of an Energy Resilience Task Force to work towards increasing the resiliency of our energy infrastructure to natural disasters and climate change. We welcome the initiative for enhancing the quality of electric power infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

118. We commend the Low Carbon Model Town (LCMT) Project, the APEC Oil and Gas Security Initiative (OGSI), the APEC Regional Liquefied Natural Gas Trade Facilitation Initiative, and the 2015 Annual Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI) Best Practices Awards Program.

119. We appreciate member economies’ efforts to create favorable conditions for trade and investments to support a diversified, flexible, and integrated natural gas market in the APEC region.

120. We reaffirm the importance of the safe and efficient development of civil nuclear power as an option to clean, high-quality and advanced modern energy, which functions as a base load power source, to help ensure global energy security and sustainable development as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

121. We encourage interested member economics to exchange experiences and best practices, pursue practical cooperation, including improving nuclear safety performance and coordinating emergency response and preparedness mechanisms, and conduct capacity building and training for the safe and peaceful development and use of nuclear power, under the precondition of commitment to safety, security, and non-proliferation.

122. We reaffirm Leaders’ commitment to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services. We are committed to making substantive progress toward this goal. We acknowledge Peru and New Zealand for completing Voluntary Peer Reviews on Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies, and welcome the Philippines, Viet Nam, Chinese Taipei and Brunei Darussalam volunteering to participate. We welcome and encourage capacity building activities and sharing of best practices to facilitate progress toward this goal.

123. We look forward to the workshop on improving resiliency of energy infrastructure in off-grid areas within the Asia-Pacific region in 2016.

Disaster Risk Reduction

124. We endorse 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” – the increasing frequency, magnitude and scope of natural disasters, and the resultant disruption to the increasingly integrated and interlinked production and supply chains. The APEC DRR Framework will help enable collaboration in the four interoperable and mutually reinforcing pillars, namely: Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Rehabilitation and Build Back Better. We call for the conduct of regular high level policy dialogues or other higher options for APEC engagements focusing on DRR. We also note the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030, which recognizes the significant role of regional cooperation in addressing the threat of natural disasters.

125. Consistent with the areas for cooperation identified in the APEC DRR Framework, we emphasize the growing need for cooperation on disaster risk reduction, including through strengthening early warning systems, search and rescue, post-disaster recovery, as well as promoting business continuity planning, initiating the trade recovery communications system, promoting appropriate donations after disasters, and fostering community-based disaster risk management to ensure that communities can economically recover and supply chains can be restored. We commit to craft an action plan through the Senior Disaster Management Officials’ Forum (SDMOF) and EPWG, which shall result from cross-fora collaboration and pave the way towards the operationalization of the APEC DRR Framework.

Food Security, Agricultural Technical Cooperation, and Agricultural Biotechnology

126. We endorse the APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy Plan of Action. We commit to enhance efforts to ensure the security of the region’s food supply and sustainable agricultural and water management. We call on member economies to highlight the critical roles of investment and infrastructure development for food access and support economies’ efforts to achieve sustainable food security and improved nutrition of low-income groups. We will ensure that all citizens have access to food through the reduction in waste and loss along the food value chain, agribusiness promotion, market development, and open and fair trade that enables the integration of small scale farmers, fishers, and fish farmers into global food value chains and improves the livelihood of coastal communities.

127. On food loss and waste, we urge the application of sustainable business practices, with particular emphasis on cold chain, supply chain and efficient border practices, to generate win-win outcomes in respect of reducing food loss. We welcome member economies’ efforts in implementing the APEC Multi-Year Food Loss Reduction Project.

128. We commit to harnessing scientific innovations that address common challenges for smallholder farmers and we encourage APEC member economies to enhance cooperation in maximizing the benefits of biotechnology for improved resiliency, inclusive growth, sustainable agriculture development, and food security.

129. We advise PPFS to identify and categorize a limited list of the most onerous NTBs, seeking to establish a useful taxonomy to categorize them, analyzing their economic importance, enhancing cooperation on food standards, and to finding practical collaborative solutions to address them.

130. We reaffirm our commitment to transparent, science-based regulations in order to advance science, and reap the benefits of agricultural innovation in the context of global trade.

Ocean Cooperation and Blue Economy

131. We welcome the Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) Food Security Action Plan and welcome efforts to ensure sustainable use and management of marine resources through initiatives such as the joint OFWG/Chemical Dialogue Virtual Working Group on Marine Debris’ 2015 Work Plan, the Workshop on the Climate Change Impact on Oceans and Fisheries Resources, the OFWG project related to Coastal Ecosystem Valuation and the project Preparedness, Response and Assessment of Oil Spills in the APEC Region, Phase I.

132. We commend the progress of the Steering Council in Mainstreaming Ocean-related Issues to strengthen our work in addressing cross-cutting issues of ocean cooperation amongst relevant APEC fora. We further encourage Chairs and Lead Shepherds of relevant APEC fora and economies to actively participate in the Steering Council meeting and improve coordination and communication.

Forestry

133. We welcome the report of assessment of progress towards the aspirational goal on forests in the Sydney Declaration and appreciate the efforts of the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet). We reaffirm APEC’s commitment to the aspirational goal to increase forest cover by 20 million hectares of all types of forests by 2020 through sustainable forest management and conservation, and measures to address illegal logging and associated trade as reinforced in the Eda Statement.

134. We endorse the Common Understanding of the Scope of Illegal Logging and Associated Trade, and the Timber Legality Guidance Template developed by the Experts’ Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT).

Wildlife Trafficking

135. We remain committed to combating wildlife trafficking in the APEC region and increasing efforts to reduce the supply of, transit in, and demand for illegally taken and/or traded wildlife. We will enhance our efforts to share information, intelligence, experience and best practices, and strengthen international cooperation. We welcome actions being taken to build capacity to stop this illicit trade, including through cooperative activities such as the APEC Workshop on Wildlife Trafficking-related Customs Best Practices and the APEC Pathfinder Dialogue II.

Mining

136. We welcome the launch of the mining sub-fund to improve the delivery of capacity building activities in APEC developing economies that improve the enabling environment for trade and investment in mining and the capacity of local businesses, their mining industry and/or regulators. We also welcome the sustained engagement of the Mining Task Force with relevant private stakeholders recognizing their important role as partners through the PPD in Mining.

Urbanization

137. We welcome efforts in implementing the APEC Cooperation Initiative for Jointly Establishing an Asia-Pacific Urbanization Partnership. We encourage relevant fora and sub-fora, including platforms like the Asia-Pacific Sustainable Energy Center (APSEC), to make contribution to the implementation process. We welcome the outcomes of the first SOM Friends of the Chair on Urbanization, the 2015 APEC City Mayor’s Forum: Building Better Cities, and China’s initiative to host a high-level forum on urbanization in 2016. We welcome projects to assess and demonstrate technology deployment for urban waste management that also include the recovery of economic worth from solid waste. We welcome the outcome of the PPD on Water during SOM3 and Related Meetings this year.

Counter-Terrorism

138. We encourage economies to continue to take collective and individual actions and share best practices in the four cross-cutting areas of APEC’s Consolidated Counter Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy in order to safeguard the region's infrastructure, travel, supply chains, and financial systems from terrorism and other illicit activities.

139. We encourage officials to continue updating their Counter-Terrorism Action Plans regularly. We note the outcomes of the APEC Counter-Terrorism Working Group’s Workshops on Countering the Financing of Terrorism with the New Payment Systems and the Workshop on Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighter Travel. We support economies’ efforts to implement the Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) programs to secure and facilitate legitimate travel within the region.

Strengthening APEC as an Institution

140. We endorse the 2015 Senior Officials’ Report on APEC’s work program and the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) Annual Report to Ministers. We note the 2015 Annual Report of the APEC Secretariat Executive Director, and approve the 2016 APEC budget and member contributions.

141. We note the work of the newly-established mechanisms such as the EC Friends of the Chair on Strengthening Economic and Legal Infrastructure, the SOM Friends of the Chair on Urbanization, the Ad Hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy, the APEC Group of Friends on Disability, APSEC, the APEC Higher Education Research Center, the APEC Education Research Network, and the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Institute.

142. We commit to implement the 2015 APEC Capacity Building Policy through Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) to expand associated human and institutional capacity building initiatives as outlined in the 1996 Manila Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development.

143. We welcome capacity building activities which highlight the role of human resources in economic and social development such as those related to capacity building towards the eventual realization of the FTAAP under the second REI Capacity Building Needs Initiative 2015-2017. We note efforts related to the improvement of supply chain performance through projects under the Supply Chain Connectivity Sub-fund. We welcome the establishment of Sub-Funds on FTAAP/Global Value Chain (GVC), on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth (IERG), and on Connectivity. We welcome the voluntary contributions by Australia, China, Hong Kong China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and Chinese Taipei to the APEC fund.

144. We welcome ABAC’s contributions to APEC’s work and its efforts this year in widening the reach and depth of PPDs on various sectoral and cross-cutting themes in APEC’s agenda.

145. We commend the contributions of the APEC PSU and the APEC Study Centers to APEC’s work stream. In particular, we commend the PSU’s work to support the APEC 2015 Priorities, including the PSU assessment on the 2010 APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy. We encourage economies, especially future APEC hosts, to strengthen this collaboration.

146. We welcome APEC’s outreach efforts and encourage our officials to foster APEC’s cooperation at all levels and as appropriate with other economic integration institutions envisaged in the Ways to Strengthen APEC’s Synergy and Complementarity with Regional and International Cooperation Fora and Processes. We welcome the upcoming informal conversation at the Leaders’ level to be conducted with the Pacific Alliance.

147. Recognizing that APEC is a continuing process, we express our appreciation to last year’s host China for its efforts to report progress on the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). We urge officials and relevant APEC fora to implement all the programs, action plans, and instructions contained in the APEC 2015 Ministerial Meetings’ and High-Level Policy Dialogues’ reports and statements.

148. We welcome preparations for APEC 2016 in Peru and we look forward to continuing our important work.

Annex A: APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

APEC Strategy to Building Adaptive and Disaster-Resilient Economies

Context

1. The APEC leaders, in their past declarations and statements, have expressed their commitment to address natural disasters, which remains as one of the major challenges confronted in the region (Annex A). They have consistently recognized the high vulnerability and exposure of the region to disasters due mainly to its geographic situation. Most APEC economies are situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where strong earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions pose constant threats. The region has the most active tropical cyclone formation in the world in terms of frequency, including the Category 5 cyclones or super typhoon occurrences per year. These conditions are further exacerbated by climate change. The Asia-Pacific Region is experiencing temperature changes in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in El Niño and La Niña phenomena.

2. We now face a “new normal” that is characterized by at least two phenomena: the increasing frequency, magnitude and scope of natural disasters, and the resultant disruption on the increasingly integrated and interlinked production and supply chains. This “new normal” disrupts the free flow of trade and investments across economies; and presents tremendous challenges and serious threats to the inclusiveness and sustainability of growth and development in the region. As per the World Bank estimate, the APEC economies have incurred disaster-related losses of over $100 Billion every year for the last ten years.Footnote 1

3. We noted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030, which recognizes the significant role of regional cooperation in addressing the threat of the "new normal”. It is now an opportune moment for APEC to develop an APEC-specific Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Framework, based on current APEC work and other relevant international arrangements, where appropriate, that focuses on the conditions in APEC economies.

Purpose of APEC DRR Framework

4. The APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework aims to contribute to adaptive and disaster-resilient Asia-Pacific economies that can support inclusive and sustainable development in the face of disasters and the “new normal”.

5. The core of this Framework is the clear recognition that addressing the impacts of disasters requires holistic, more proactive, multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral and strategic interventions to make our economies more resilient. Under this Framework, the APEC community can collectively identify and explore areas for enhanced cooperation.

6. This APEC Framework cuts across all areas of the APEC agenda, including agriculture; forestry; fisheries; trade and investments; energy; micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); infrastructure development; critical infrastructure resiliency; financial resiliency; human capital; health; gender; food security; science and technology; and ecological integrity.

The APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

The APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

Four Pillars of APEC Disaster Risk Reduction

7. The APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework consists of four interoperable and mutually reinforcing pillars, namely: Prevention and Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Rehabilitation and Build Back Better. These pillars correspond to the four elements vital for ensuring achievement of the overall aim to have adaptive and disaster-resilient APEC economies (Annex B).

Enabling Environment for APEC DRR

8. The APEC Disaster Risk Reduction Framework should work effectively within an enabling environment anchored on Community Participation, Disaster Risk Governance, Disaster Risk Financing, Innovations on Science and Technology, Critical Infrastructure Resiliency, Ecological Integrity, and Inclusiveness of Women and Vulnerable Sectors (Annex C).

Areas for Collaboration

9. Building on the substantial DRR-related efforts that APEC has carried out over the years and involving all relevant APEC fora, the APEC Framework identifies key areas for collaboration (Annex D).

10. The private sector, through the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and local and regional businesses, plays an essential role in this APEC Framework. Sustainable development highly encourages collaboration between the public and the private sectors in recognition of their shared responsibility towards disaster resiliency. As an example, the continuity of businesses and MSMEs largely depends on the efforts of our private sector partners. Their continued and sustained contribution toward the development of liveable cities and sustainable communities, resilient supply chains, infrastructure connectivity, and energy will help ensure the success of DRR cooperation and its requisite interventions.

Call to Action

11. Taking into account the Asia Pacific region’s vulnerability to natural hazards and the “new normal”, there is a need to encourage collective action in ensuring the free flow of trade, investments and tourism across economies. It is further recognized that establishing a common APEC DRR platform among the member economies to supplement and complement other efforts to achieve their goals and targets, will be beneficial to the economies.

12. To translate into action the vision and declarations of our Leaders for DRR collaboration, and to move towards enhancing disaster resiliency in the Asia-Pacific region, the following actions are hereby called for:

12.1. We endorse and recommend the elevation of this Framework to the APEC Leaders, subject to the consideration of the APEC Ministers, to facilitate collective work in building resilient communities in the face of the new normal and to serve as one of the foundations for dynamic and sustainable growth. To achieve this, we call for the conduct of regular high level policy dialogues or other higher options for APEC engagements focusing on DRR.

12.2. We encourage cooperation with other relevant organizations to promote regional efforts in emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

12.3. We encourage efforts to strengthen cooperation in dealing with disasters as embodied in the APEC DRR Framework. In this light, we welcome voluntary joint commitments and/or voluntary multi-party arrangements between economies and partners toward DRR, as deemed suitable and where appropriate, in recognition of the unique context, situation, and nuances in member economies.

12.4. We commit to develop an Action Plan based on current APEC work and other relevant international arrangements, where appropriate, that will serve as the implementation, monitoring and evaluation tool of APEC for the realization of this Framework and contribution to the attainment of our common disaster resiliency goals. Thus, the Action Plan will require identification of a set of targets contextualized at the Asia Pacific region, specifically within the economies perspective. The Plan and targets will also complement but not duplicate the efforts progressed in this area through other international arrangements. The Emergency Preparedness Working Group shall coordinate the development of the Action Plan and be the mechanism that will encourage individual economies to develop specific, measurable, and timed contributions for the attainment of the Action Plan’s overall objectives. Consistent with APEC guidelines, the Action Plan will be formulated to include appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools that will help measure the activities implemented.

Annex A – APEC leaders’ past declarations and statements

1. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established based on a spirit of community among the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region. This spirit of community, which our Leaders enunciated at Blake Island, Seattle in 1993, inspires us to collectively search for solutions to the common challenges that we face. The vision of an APEC community became clearer when our Leaders committed in 1994 in Indonesia to attain the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment. Further, at Subic, Philippines in 1996, our Leaders upheld sustainable growth and equitable development as the ultimate objectives of our individual and collective endeavors. Today, almost 20 years since, APEC faces both a challenge and an opportunity to demonstrate with renewed vigor this spirit of community in finding cooperative solutions to the common objects and pressing threats of the many hazards in the Asia-Pacific region.

2. In 1997, our Leaders acknowledged in Vancouver, Canada the collective impact of disasters on the APEC economies. When a disaster strikes in one APEC economy, the rest of the community is affected.

3. In 2007, our Leaders reiterated in Sydney, Australia their recognition of the region’s vulnerability to disasters by highlighting the nexus among economic growth, energy security, and climate change. They committed to bold aspirational targets including reducing energy intensity by at least 25% by 2030 (later increased to 45% by 2035 in 2011) and increasing the forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020.

4. In 2008, our Leaders articulated in Lima, Peru the importance of promoting disaster risk reduction (DRR) through the adoption of the APEC Principles on Disaster Response and Cooperation. They reiterated the need for cooperation on DRR among our economies.

5. In 2009, our Leaders recalled in Singapore the targets set forth in 2007 and committed to enhance work to meet those targets. Further, the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), which all ten member states of ASEAN ratified in 2009, also served as useful and ground-breaking guide in developing effective and comprehensive regional DRR mechanisms.

6. In 2010, our Leaders reiterated in Yokohama, Japan their commitment to take strong and action-oriented measures to address the threat of global climate change. They committed to develop practical disaster risk management mechanisms to strengthen the ability of our economies to manage emergencies and natural disasters.

7. In 2011, our Leaders pledged in Honolulu, Hawaii to involve the private sector and civil society in APEC’s emergency preparedness efforts.

8. In 2012, our Leaders expressed in Vladivostok, Russia the support for further steps such as facilitating business continuity and resiliency planning, especially among small and medium enterprises; establishing common standards for emergency early warning systems in cross-border transportation; and promoting integrated disaster risk financing policies.

9. In 2013, our Leaders articulated in Bali, Indonesia the need to undertake urgent actions to prevent the grave economic consequences of natural and human-induced disasters.

10. In 2014, our Leaders agreed in Beijing, China to encourage further enhance cooperation including more robust networking among disaster management agencies, improving supply chain resiliency, reducing barriers to the movement of emergency responders and humanitarian relief across borders, increased data sharing, and the application of science and technology.

Annex B – Four pillars of disaster risk reduction

1. Prevention and Mitigation. This pillar includes the identification and evaluation of existing hazards, vulnerabilities, and exposure of communities and livelihoods. Based on the identified hazards and risk evaluation, proactive structural and non-structural measures need to be identified, evaluated, prioritized, funded and undertaken to mitigate the impact of disasters.

2. Preparedness. This pillar pertains to the series of multi-sectoral and multi-level measures that help ensure and enhance the state of readiness of APEC economic systems and communities as the pillar’s main goals minimizing damage to infrastructure and property, and enhancing capacity to build back better. Preparedness harnesses regional cooperation to strengthen early warning mechanisms for transboundary hazards in the region such as tsunamis and typhoons. This pillar focuses on establishing and strengthening the capacities of communities to anticipate, cope, and recover from the negative impacts of disasters. It involves enhancing urban and rural planning using risk and hazard mapping techniques and information, and strengthening critical infrastructure, including social and cultural infrastructure. It involves cooperation between government and businesses to increase the resilience of supply chains. It includes utilizing current and advanced Information and Communications Technologies for comprehensive disaster management system. It also includes the development and promotion of financial tools, such as microinsurance and catastrophic risk insurance, to help protect households, Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), livelihoods such as agriculture, critical infrastructure, and communities from the financial and economic losses that each disaster brings, and promotion of business continuity planning.

3. Response. This pillar focuses on engaging stakeholders of the affected economies in operational interventions immediately after a disaster. It involves the identification and assessment of impacts to the economy and marketplace following the disaster and the implementation of response programs, such as but not limited to the provision and replenishment of lost purchasing power to affected consumers, procurement of relief goods and services from business and people closest to the disaster area, and provision of immediate needs through market-based solutions so that economic recovery is stimulated while immediate relief is provided. It also covers clearing of bottlenecks in supply chain to get emergency goods in and out or businesses back online.

4. Rehabilitation and Build Back Better. This pillar aims to enable disaster-affected communities to rehabilitate and build back better by ensuring minimal disruption in livelihood and other economic activities; fast-tracking the rehabilitation of affected economic activities after a disaster; fostering education continuity; rehabilitating affected ecological ecosystem; and improving the overall living conditions of affected and at-risk communities and businesses. The principle of Build Back Better is at the core of APEC’s efforts to address the challenges of the new normal. It entails a shift from simple recovery and restoration; to safer, more adaptive, resilient, and inclusive communities. Drawing from recent experiences, the immediate rehabilitation of MSMEs and businesses on the ground proved to be crucial in ensuring faster rehabilitation and moving forward after a disaster. This is where a responsive business continuity plan becomes most important. In this light as well, disaster risk financing plays a critical role because it can help provide easy access to financial resources at a time when MSMEs, businesses, and communities need them most. Immediate access to financing will empower affected communities and enable them to recover and build back better within a shorter duration.

Annex C – Enabling environment for disaster risk reduction (DRR)

1. Community Participation. DRR interventions are most effective when the affected communities and economic actors are actively engaged in each phase of DRR by improving collaboration between employers and employees and producers and consumers. They should be empowered by providing them with the necessary information to reduce the risk, prepare, cope and recover from disasters and by actively involving them in planning and program design and implementation. Fostering action at the local level should also help ensure the inclusivity and sustainability of DRR.

2. Disaster Risk Governance. Disaster risk governance anchored in a whole-of-society and ecosystem-based approach provides the foundation for the effective implementation of a DRR framework. This approach entails streamlining and fostering collaboration and mutual reinforcement across mechanisms and institutions, not only domestically but in the whole Asia-Pacific community. It is important to encourage collaboration between public and private sectors in creating incentives and supporting policies and actions that encourage risk reduction.

3. Disaster Risk Financing. Strong financial systems and tools provide a stable backbone for a DRR framework. These systems should help community prevention, mitigation, preparedness, and recovery to disasters by providing access to resources that supports management of impacts on people, the economy, and ecological systems. Disaster risk financing, such as insurance, should incentivize DRR actions and policies.

4. Innovations in Science and Technology. Science and technology offer innovative solutions and approaches that are indispensable in responding to the complex challenges of the new normal. Science and Technology can now be used to identify the level of disaster risk which is a consideration for economic investment in infrastructure, production, and distribution by both the public and the private sector. Harnessing scientific and technological innovations through an enabling, science-based policy environment can lead to more timely, accurate, and responsive weather forecasts, hazard mapping, disaster mitigating and resilient technologies, and continuing development of new food technologies as well as developing solutions to changing climate patterns affecting agricultural production, health conditions, and the strength of critical infrastructure and lifelines. Utilizing current and advanced Information and Communications Technologies for the disaster management system will enhance preparedness for natural and human-induced disasters.

5. Critical Infrastructure Resiliency. The resiliency of critical infrastructure is vital to ensuring the successful implementation of this DRR framework. Critical infrastructure includes water, energy, transportation, road networks, communication, public health, and financial services. Together, this infrastructure ensures the continuity of supply chains which empower the economies of APEC members.

6. Ecological Integrity. Preserving ecological integrity through conscious environmental management, conservation, rehabilitation, and protection is expected to minimize the vulnerability and risks that APEC communities are exposed to in the APEC region. It also helps to ensure the resiliency of communities, which would reduce the potential disruptions caused by disasters.

7. Inclusiveness of Women and Vulnerable Sectors in DRR. DRR should take a holistic, proactive, multi-stakeholder, whole-of-society based approach inclusive of the different concerns and perspectives of women, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other sectors. Addressing the needs of women and vulnerable groups in DRR is critical to ensuring resiliency of communities. It is thus imperative that the vulnerabilities, needs, and capacities of women, youth, elderly, PWDs and other vulnerable sectors be assessed to address their specific needs. Platforms for their engagement in planning process, and policy- and decision-making activities should also be established and sustained.

Annex D – Areas for collaboration

1. Prevention and Mitigation

  1. Utilization of science, technology and research to prepare for, prevent and mitigate disaster impacts;
  2. Promotion of open access to non-sensitive risk and hazard mapping information, which is understandable and easily accessible for households, communities, businesses, and governments to ensure making appropriate decisions;
  3. Identification of vulnerable and hazardous areas, and taking mitigating steps to reduce disaster risks of affected communities.
  4. Conservation of ecosystems, e.g., wetlands, mangroves, dunes, forests, that can provide natural protection to reduce the vulnerability of and risks in APEC communities;
  5. Enhancement and harmonization of infrastructure standards to make them responsive to the increased frequency and impact of disasters and the “new normal”; and
  6. Facilitation of the establishment of appropriate mechanisms and tools to finance investments in prevention, mitigation and risk transfer, in collaboration with the private sector, particularly the capital markets and insurance industry.

2. Preparedness

  1. Voluntary sharing of non-sensitive information and best practices to improve early warning systems and development of comprehensive disaster risk management systems utilizing current and advanced science and technology as well as Information and Communications Technologies;
  2. Capacity-building and voluntary technology-transfer to sustain the development, improvement and exchange of important Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) skills, knowledge, and technologies, as mutually agreed;
  3. Emphasis of government and business cooperation in a whole-of-society approach to preparedness;
  4. Development of financial and enterprise tools that are suitable to the DRR goals and objectives of APEC communities; and
  5. Building resilience of Micro Small Medium Enterprises, livelihoods and businesses against disasters through responsive business continuity plans and microinsurance, among others.

3. Response

  1. Establishment, engagement in and promotion of joint and/or collective emergency response policies taking into account recognized international and regional humanitarian response procedures, where appropriate, to reduce barriers to the movement of emergency responders and humanitarian relief across borders;
  2. Utilization of communication mechanisms to expedite the flow of goods after transportation disruptions in order to assist in trade recovery;
  3. Encouragement of appropriate donations after disasters in order to expedite the movement of goods and reduce chokepoints in the supply chain; and
  4. Promotion of market-based response mechanisms/approaches to address impacts to markets and economic systems.

4. Rehabilitation and Build Back Better

  1. Mainstreaming of DRR and climate change adaptation into local and economy-level development planning;
  2. Promotion of local level action for long-term and sustained impact of DRR interventions;
  3. Promotion of coherence and mutual reinforcement among local, economy-level, regional, and global DRR policies and programs; and
  4. Ensure gender, age and disability-responsiveness of DRR policies, plans, and programs.

Annex B: APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy Plan of Action

Food Security and Blue Economy: Sustainable food supply chains from resilient resources for inclusive growth

Acknowledging that the challenges to meet the food demand of the world’s rising populations require sustainable food supply chains anchored on resilient resources and coastal communities, sustainable food production, developed markets, and  open and fair trade;

Recognizing that the marine resources in the Asia Pacific region are vital to ensuring food security in the region, accounting for two-thirds of  the world’s capture fishery production, 80 percent of the world’s aquaculture production, and where per capita supply of fish is 65 percent higher than the world average;Footnote 2

Confirming that “for the purposes of APEC, the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group views Blue Economy as an approach to advance sustainable management and conservation of ocean and coastal resources and ecosystems and sustainable development, in order to foster economic growth”;

Recognizing the key role of APEC as an important platform for regional economic integration and growth, as well as recognizing discussions and initiatives related to Blue Economy, and efforts to explore its potential by economies, therefore calling for cooperation on Blue Economy in the Asia Pacific region;

Recognizing that insufficient efforts in conservation and management of fishery resources, inter alia, combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, degradation of the coastal ecosystems and marine resources, vulnerability to climate change and disasters pose serious threats to the resilience of these marine resources and the coastal communities dependent on them;

Acknowledging the importance of conservation, protection and sustainable management of habitats, biodiversity, oceans, and fishery resources through Blue Economy and other means for food security;

Noting that fish provides a significant portion of animal protein requirement in the Asia Pacific region, especially in low-income food-deficit economies;

Aware that the Asia Pacific region consumes 70 percent of the world’s fish products and where one-fourth of the world’s hungry resideFootnote 3;

Acknowledging that aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food producing sectors and is projected to increase to 62 percent of total fishery production by 2030, while catches from wild capture fisheries level off, and demand from an emerging global middle class substantially increases;

Recognizing that development of responsible aquaculture practices can provide continuing benefits for global food security and economic growth;

Stressing the important role of small scale fisheries to food security, nutrition and livelihoods of coastal communities, noting that   the sector accounts for  one half of the global fish catch and considering that small scale fishing communities are often economically and environmentally vulnerable;

Recognizing that food loss and waste across the supply chain are a major constraint to food security, yet one third of the total world food production is lost or wasted, and that adopting food loss reduction strategies will substantially increase food supply; 

Emphasizing that global post harvest fish loss and waste is estimated to be between 20-75%Footnote 4;

Aware that agribusiness offers opportunities for increased income and integration of small scale fishers and fish farmers, cooperatives, associations, and other stakeholders in food supply chains;

Emphasizing that illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, food fish loss and waste, and limited access to food of the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups are challenges to food security that need more enhanced actions;

Expressing appreciation to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for their active participation in the meeting on behalf of the private sector and their valuable perspectives, and reaffirming our commitment to working closely with ABAC to address food security and blue economy;

Recognizing the challenges we are facing on Food Security and Blue Economy, we, APEC High Level Officials responsible for food security and blue economy, therefore,

Reaffirm the commitments made on food security in the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security (2010), Kazan Declaration on APEC Food Security (2012), Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security (2014),APEC Food Security Road Map Towards 2020 (2014), as well as the commitments relating to oceans and fisheries such as the Seoul Oceans Declaration (2002), the Bali Plan of Action (2005), the Paracas Declaration and its Action Agenda (2010), and the Xiamen Declaration (2014);

Recognize the importance of strengthened joint collaboration between the Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) and the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) and other relevant fora in advancing the Plan of Action through existing mechanisms such as joint projects as well as through promoting synergies in their respective strategic plans;

Encourage APEC economies to implement the following Plan of Action within their economies, building upon previous APEC commitments:

Plan of Action

Recommended Actions

Priority 1: Resilient Ocean and Coastal Resources and Ecosystems, Coastal Communities and Sustainable Aquaculture. Advancing sustainable management and conservation of oceans and coastal resources and sustainable aquaculture to ensure a resilient food supply, including conserving, protecting and sustainably managing resources and their ecosystems, and reducing their vulnerability to climate change and disasters.

  • 1.1   Strengthen local, regional and international capacities and collaboration to sustainably conserve and manage fishery resources, including, to combat IUU fishing and enhance economy-level and regional capacity building.
  • 1.2   Enhance capacities for and collaboration on research, science and technology application, ecosystem servicesFootnote 5, conservation, restoration and sustainable development of coastal ecosystems, biodiversity and marine habitats.
  • 1.3   Expand on-going efforts to share information on best practices on integrated sustainable management of the coastal and marine environment, including marine protected areas, to contribute substantially to blue economy and fishery biodiversity.
  • 1.4   Promote sustainable aquaculture and fisheries practices to achieve blue economy through information sharing, capacity building, sharing of best practice, private sector stakeholders’ engagement and increased cooperation on research development and innovation, taking into account ecosystems based approaches.
  • 1.5   Encourage innovative farming and processing technologies of edible aquatic plants in the APEC region.
  • 1.6   Expand the research and information sharing on diseases found in farmed fish populations for improved fish health.
  • 1.7   Increase collaboration, develop integrated strategies, and enhance monitoring and research on preventing, mitigating and adapting to disasters and the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change, including sea level rise and enhanced storm surge on biodiversity, fisheries and aquaculture to reduce vulnerability.
  • 1.8   Expand efforts on preventing and mitigating pollution, responsible waste management, and the loss or illegal discarding of fishing gear, to reduce land based and marine pollution and marine debris.
  • 1.9   Promote innovative waste management solutions to prevent marine debris, and promote participation in the APEC Virtual Working Group on Marine Debris.
  • 1.10   Conduct capacity building and share best practices on Blue Economy as an approach to advance sustainable management and conservation of oceans and coastal resources to foster economic growth, participate in projects and activities of the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center (Center), and improve the Center’s capacity.

Priority 2: Fish Loss Reduction. Reducing loss of fish and fish products, in terms of quality and quantity to improve food safety, to add product value and ensure food security.

  • 2.1   Expand on-going capacity building programs to advance fish loss reduction strategies and technologies, food safety and quality standards, and value added processing of fishery products and by-products for small scale fishers, small holder farmers, cooperatives and associations, women groups and indigenous communities.
  • 2.2   Enhance information systems to promote food safety and quality standards to small fishing communities for awareness and compliance.
  • 2.3   Support efforts of the APEC Food Loss Multi-Year Project on sharing best practices, data, and toolkits and strengthen partnerships with the private sector on fish loss reduction strategies in particular to address the need for quality baseline data across relevant APEC sub-fora.
  • 2.4   Encourage where appropriate, public private partnerships on investment in storage, transportation, processing, packaging, and related technical innovations and infrastructure improvements.
  • 2.5   Enhance further collaboration on fish loss and food loss reduction efforts, including development of an integrated and comprehensive APEC-wide food loss reduction strategy.

Priority 3: Agribusiness and Blue Economy. Increasing food security and inclusive growth by promoting agribusiness, market development, and open and fair trade to enable the integration of small scale fishers and fish farmers into global food chains.

  • 3.1   Facilitate food trade in fish and aquaculture products while ensuring the sustainability of resources and their related environment.
  • 3.2   Enhance capacity on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), agribusiness and foster market integration and development of small-scale fishers and smallholder fish farmers, in particular women and indigenous communities into the global fish and fish food chains.
  • 3.3   Strengthen public private partnership on improving food safety and efficiency along supply chains.
  • 3.4   Enhance OFWG and PPFS and relevant APEC sub-fora collaboration on agribusiness in fishery and aquaculture, market development, cold chain technology, preservation practices of fish and fish products and trade in products of fisheries and aquaculture.
  • 3.5   To ensure livelihoods of coastal communities, strengthen and improve capacity building on cold chain management and preservation practices of fish and fish products to small scale fishers, small holder fish farmers, including women, and indigenous communities.
  • 3.6   Encourage agribusiness and market development to implement, as appropriate, certification schemes on aquatic products, and supply chain management to ensure sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, aquatic products traceability and food safety.
  • 3.7   Expand capacity building on fish seed quality, fish product quality and food safety standards for small scale fishers and small holder fish farmers, in particular women groups.
  • 3.8   Promote fish farm clusters through organizing production and marketing groups and cooperatives to enhance the capacity of small-scale holder fish farms to meet quality standards and market access.
  • 3.9   Foster cooperation on technology innovation between agribusiness, the science community and private sector industry to improve techniques, product quality and added value for upgrading aquaculture sector.
  • 3.10   Facilitate investment and public private partnerships on infrastructure building in fisheries and aquaculture in order to contribute to food security.

Annex C: Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP

Submitted by the People’s Republic of China
November 2015

Introduction

In November 2014, APEC Leaders gathered by Yanqi Lake in Beijing for the 22nd APEC   Economic   Leaders’  Meeting   (AELM).   They   also   celebrated   the   25th anniversary  of  APEC.  On  that  occasion,  APEC  Leaders  launched  a  number  of ground-breaking initiatives that would help shape the long-term development of the Asia-Pacific. One year on, steady progress has been made in the implementation of the Beijing outcomes, thanks to the close cooperation among member economies and solid work of APEC sub-fora. China attaches great importance to this undertaking and highly values support from member economies.

This report is to take stock of the progress made in the past year, with a view to maintaining the momentum of cooperation for the future. Looking back is for moving forward. Working closely with other member economies, China will spare no effort to continue fulfilling the mandates given by the Leaders. And in so doing, we are sending a strong and clear message of the unity of the APEC community, demonstrating APEC’s relevance as well as its unique contribution to the prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

The report is structured around the three priority areas of APEC 2014. It captures the latest development of regional economic integration, especially in advancing the process towards the eventual realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). It reviews steps taken in pursuit of innovative development, economic reform and growth. It updates on APEC work programs and initiatives launched to strengthen connectivity and infrastructure development.

This report is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. For the purpose of conciseness and given the resources available, it mainly focuses on the headline initiatives   and   related   achievements.   It   also   touches   on   China's   efforts   and contribution to the implementation of the Beijing outcomes. China would like to thank other member economies for their support and cooperation.

This report is submitted for consideration at 2015 APEC CSOM and AMM.

The Progress Report

Part I.      Background and Overall Assessment

Last November, APEC Leaders endorsed the Beijing Agenda for an Integrated, Innovative and Interconnected Asia-Pacific and the Statement on the 25th Anniversary of APEC, as well as the Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP),APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth (IERG), and APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025. These milestone documents, building upon APEC’s exploration  and  accomplishments  over  the  past  25  years,  outlined  visions  and pathways  for  future  economic  cooperation  in  the  Asia-Pacific.  APEC  Leaders affirmed their dedication to shaping the future through Asia-Pacific Partnership, and to building an open economy in the region with the goal of common development, prosperity and progress.

Yanqi Lake is, of course, not the finishing line; rather a new starting point for APEC. Its outcomes represent not only a high-standard tasking statement, but also solemn commitments to fulfill in the years to come. 2015 is the first year of the second quarter  of  the  century  of  APEC.  The  APEC  family  set  off  on  the  journey  with mandates of the Beijing outcomes, bearing in mind that action is the only bridge between vision and reality, and implementation of previous outcomes is key to ensuring continuity of APEC agenda.

With joint efforts of member economies, fora and sub-fora, APEC is moving ahead steadily and smoothly. Some initiatives have been achieved, some seen breakthroughs, some are well underway, and some in the pipeline.

Implementation of the Beijing outcomes also compliments the theme of APEC 2015. It contributes to developing inclusive economies and building a better world. This synergized work helps open a new chapter in Asia-Pacific cooperation.

Part II.      Advancing Regional Economic Integration

1. FTAAP

In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP and decided to proceed in a comprehensive and systematic manner towards the eventual realization of the FTAAP. Since then, great efforts and progress have been made in advancing the FTAAP process. The Task Force for the Collective Strategic Study on FTAAP was established, comprising all 21 APEC economies. The Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Study was endorsed by APEC Trade Ministers, which paved the way for the Study. The TOR stipulates the objective, reporting responsibilities, research structure, scope of work, key deliverables, concrete timelines, and the principal elements of chapters of the Study.

The Task Force delegated initial drafting work to the Core Drafting Group (CDG), which has started the substantive drafting of the Report and will produce the first draft of the Collective Strategic Study by 15 January, 2016. The CDG has begun drafting the chapters based upon work plans agreed at SOM3 2015. An editing mechanism will be agreed to facilitate the drafting process and to ensure transparency, objectiveness, consistency and inclusiveness of the Study. All member economies will have opportunities to comment on and contribute to the Study. The final version of the Study and its Executive Summary along with any recommendations will be presented to the Leaders in Peru next year.

With a view to sharing views on essential issues related to the FTAAP, China hosted the Seminar on FTAAP Collective Strategic Study in Cebu in August 2015. Trade Policy  Dialogue  and  SOM-level  Dialogue  on  RTAs/FTAs  were  also  hosted  by member economies under the Information Sharing Mechanism for RTAs/FTAs. Since the end of 2014, a series of seminars and workshops targeting various FTA chapters have been held under Action Plan Framework of the 2nd  Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI 2).

The Progress Report on Implementation of the Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP has been circulated and is expected to be finalized and endorsed at CSOM.

2. Global Value Chains Development and Supply Chain Connectivity

In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains (GVCs) Development and Cooperation and decided to realize efficient and workable GVCs within and between each of APEC economies.

As chair of Friends of the Chair (FoTC) Group on GVCs, China has coordinated efforts to implement the Strategic Blueprint in 10 work streams. Strenuous efforts have been made in promoting APEC GVCs and Trade in Value Added (TiVA) Measurement, enabling developing economies to better participate in GVCs, and strengthening collaboration with other stakeholders on GVCs.

Work has also been carried out in line with the Strategic Framework on Measurement of APEC TiVA under GVCs and its Action Plan, with an aim to establish the APEC TiVA Database by 2018. Trade Ministers in Boracay endorsed the TOR and Work Plan of TiVA, which laid the operational foundation of the APEC TiVA work. China and the United States, as co-leading economies of this work stream, are expected to fill relevant tables of statistics by the end of 2015 for other members’ reference. Moreover, the Core Expert Working Team has been established with the first batch of 11 members.

Building upon 2014 consensus on promoting the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in GVCs, Trade Ministers endorsed the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs. Workshops and studies were carried out by member economies to explore ways of assisting MSMEs to benefit from GVCs.

The Progress Report on Implementation of the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains Development and Cooperation has been finalized and is expected to be endorsed at CSOM.

With a view to further enhancing regional trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity, the Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network (APMEN) has been established, with its Joint Operational Group formed. The APMEN Operational Center was launched in Shanghai, China in August 2015. To date, 11 ports from 9 economies have joined APMEN while 7 other economies participated in as observers.

To promote APEC cooperation in Green Supply Chains, the APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain (GSCNET) was established, and the Dialogue on GSCNET was hosted by China in May 2015 in Boracay, Philippines. The first Pilot Center of GSCNET was established in Tianjin, China in June 2015. The Work Plan on the APEC Cooperation on Green Supply Chains was endorsed by Senior Officials in September 2015.

3. Others

To fulfill the commitment of reducing tariffs on the 54 products in the APEC List of Environmental Goods by the end of 2015, China has finalized and submitted its APEC Environmental Goods Tariff Reduction Implementation Plan, with the reduction coming into force from 1 January 2016.

With an aim to boost the case studies on sustainable investment, China hosted the Workshop on Best Practices of Sustainable Development in the APEC Region in February 2015.

Great efforts have also been made to implement the APEC Customs 3M (Mutual Recognition of Control, Mutual Assistance of Enforcement and Mutual Sharing of Information) Strategic Framework, with progress achieved in the fields of customs transit, single window, and Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). The Workshop on Customs Control over Cross-border E-Commerce was hosted by China in September 2015 to promote information sharing and capacity building in this field.

As a follow-up to the Asia-Pacific Region Automotive Industry Sustainable Development Declaration, a research was conducted by China and relevant sub-fora to assess the impact of government policy instruments on promoting new energy vehicles.

Part III.      Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth

1. Economic Reform

According  to  the APEC Accord on IERG,  the  2nd   Structural  Reform  Ministerial Meeting (SRMM) was held 7 years after the 1st  SRMM. It was aimed to review APEC's structural reform efforts and set its post-2015 agenda. The meeting adopted the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR) 2016-2020, laying a solid foundation for the future work in this field.

China is sparing no effort to deepen domestic economic reform, ranging from administrative    system,    investment    and    financial    policy,    tax    regime    to state-owned enterprises  management.  China  has  also  stepped  up  its  domestic promotion  of  Public  Private  Partnership  (PPP)  in  the  field  of  infrastructure development, and basically put into place a legal framework for PPP.

2. New Economy

In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote the Internet Economy. To implement the Initiative, the Ad Hoc Steering Group on Internet Economy was established, and its TOR was endorsed by Senior Officials. The Group held its inaugural meeting in September 2015 and endorsed the proposed action items. The Telecommunication Working Group also identified Internet/Digital Economy as one of its priority areas. A series of symposiums and workshops were held to identify constraints or barriers to the growth of the Internet Economy, and explore ways to promote cooperation in this field.

The concept paper of Enabling Inclusive Growth through the Internet Economy was submitted by China, aiming to better utilize Internet Economy to enable the development of SMEs, encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, promote human capital development, and foster participation in economy of women and persons with disabilities. In this regard, China also proposed "Facilitating Innovative Economic Development of 'Internet + Service' Industry", a project well received by member economies.

To advance APEC's cooperation on Blue Economy, another important area of New Economy identified in APEC 2014, the APEC Blue Economy Best Practices Sharing Workshop and the APEC Training Workshop on Marine Spatial Planning have been scheduled at the end of 2015. Efforts are also made to share APEC experiences with partners beyond the region.

As one of the deliverables of APEC 2014, the APEC Sustainable Energy Center was established in Tianjin, China, which targets sustainable city development and clean coal technology transfer as its priorities for the next five years. The Asia-Pacific Sustainable Energy Development Forum was held by the Center this September.

As the chair of the APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), China took the leadership in promoting APEC's cooperation in this field, and fostered the adoption of two milestone EGILAT documents, the APEC Timber Legality Guidance Template, and APEC Common Understanding of the Scope of Illegal Logging and Associated Trade.

China also worked closely with the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet) to conduct the assessment of progress towards the APEC 2020 Forest Cover Goal, with a final report published and acknowledged by the Ministers Responsible for Forestry in October 2015. Besides, China established a plantation of 85 hectares in Beijing and its surrounding Hebei Province to offset the carbon emission of the Beijing AELM, showcasing its policy approach for low carbon economy and sustainable development.

3. Innovative Growth

To realize the aspirations outlined in the Toward Innovation-Driven Development Initiative which was endorsed by the Leaders last year, China, as the chair of the

APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI), hosted or facilitated a series of activities in 2015, including APEC Innovative Policy Dialogue on  Science  and  Technology-oriented Small  and Medium  Enterprises  (SMEs)  and Inclusive Growth, and five projects under PPSTI framework including the 2nd APEC Internet of Vehicles Symposium.

In accordance with the APEC Accord on IERG, China established the APEC SME Database on innovative best practices to strengthen innovation capabilities of SMEs. Progress was also made by China Development Bank (CDB) in establishing a special loan amounting up to USD 2 billion in supporting innovative cooperation and mutual investment of SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region.

4. Inclusive Support

As the chair of APEC Health Working Group (HWG), China has been coordinating the implementation of the Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020 Initiative. One major follow-up was the adoption of the Roadmap of the Initiative. Projects were implemented to address the key areas of the Initiative, including Research on Universal Health Coverage Progress in the APEC region, and Health Hotline for Health Emergency Response.  The  APEC  Health  Emergency  Response  Working  Manual  for  Health Hotline was drafted and endorsed by HWG.

Building on member economies' consensus on health cooperation, the APEC Health Science Academy was established in Beijing by the Institute of Population Research of Peking University and the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum in October 2015.

The implementation of the Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, which was adopted by the Leaders in 2014, was reflected in the agenda of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group (ACTWG) in 2015. In the meanwhile, China has taken a very firm position on fighting corruption and launched "Sky Net" Campaign against fugitives suspected of corruption. Global Red Notice warrants were issued for the 100 most-wanted corrupt Chinese officials. Cooperation on individual cases between China and some member economies has borne fruit.

Serving as initial host of APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies (ACT-NET) in 2014-2015, China promoted APEC anti- corruption cooperation on information sharing, cross-border investigation and other anti-corruption         law   enforcement   activities,   including   hosting   the   ACT-NET International Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Workshop last December, immediately after the Beijing AELM.

Recognizing the importance of economic empowerment of persons with disabilities, the APEC Group of Friends on Disability Issues was established, and its first meeting was convened in September 2015 with its TOR and Work Plan finalized. Efforts were made to promote sharing of information, resources and good practices on disability issues. Consensus on disability-inclusive growth and incorporation of disability issue for the first time in APEC agenda also contribute to this year's theme of inclusive growth.

In line with APEC Food Security Roadmap toward 2020, China hosted APEC Food Security and Nutrition Training Workshop in September 2015, and has been undertaking research on Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition Sustainability of Low-Income and Lower-Middle-Income Groups in the Asia-Pacific Region.

5. Urbanization

In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the APEC Cooperation Initiative for Jointly Establishing an Asia-Pacific Urbanization Partnership and instructed Ministers and Officials to further promote cooperation on urbanization. To implement the Initiative, the FotC on Urbanization was established, and its TOR was endorsed by Senior Officials.  The  FotC  held  its  inaugural  meeting  in  September,  and  will  continue working to develop its agenda in 2016.

Surveys,   seminars   and   workshops   have   been   conducted,   aiming   to   address urbanization challenges and explore pathways toward urban redevelopment and smart city. The APEC City Mayors Forum was held to discuss urbanization issues such as planning and management, people and technology, and waste management. The 1st APEC high-level meeting on urbanization has been scheduled in China in 2016. Sustainable city development has been identified as one of the priorities of the APEC Sustainable Energy Center.

Part IV.    Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure  Development

Implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 has been incorporated in the agenda of the FotC on Connectivity, as one of its top priorities. Senior Officials agreed that, the review on the implementation progress will be conducted on an annual basis by the APEC Secretariat. The mid-term review in 2020 and the final review in 2026 will be carried out by the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). The first yearly review is scheduled to be submitted to the CSOM in 2015.

A lot of efforts have been made in terms of the three key aspects of the Blueprint, namely, Physical Connectivity, Institutional Connectivity and People-to-People Connectivity.

With respect to promoting Physical Connectivity, China advanced projects of infrastructure development to enhance connectivity with neighboring economies. In collaboration with relevant economies, China drafted the Master Plan on East Asia Connectivity. Efforts were also made by China to maximize synergy between its "Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st  Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative" with the infrastructure development planning of relevant APEC members.

In regards of enhancing Institutional Connectivity, China, as the host of APEC Port Services Network (APSN) Secretariat, organized the APSN Workshop on Gateway Port and Supply Chain Connectivity in November 2014, and supported the APSN Workshop on Improving Port and Supply Chain Connectivity in November this year.

As for encouraging People-to-People Connectivity, the validity of APEC Business

Travel Card (ABTC) has been extended from 3 to 5 years from 1st September 2015. To promote exchanges of students, research staff and education providers, the APEC Higher Education Research Center was founded in Beijing, China, and will convene its first meeting in March 2016. Ongoing efforts also have been witnessed to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation among member economies, targeting to achieve 800 million APEC tourist arrivals by 2025, as agreed by the Leaders in the Blueprint.

Part V.      ECOTECH and Capacity Building

1. In order to augment APEC’s focus on capacity building, China took concrete actions  to  fulfill  President  Xi  Jinping’s  pledge  of  US$10  million  voluntary contribution to APEC. Three Sub-Funds were established under APEC Support Fund (ASF),  namely,  the  Sub-Fund  on  FTAAP/GVC,  the  Sub-Fund  on  IERG,  and  the Sub-Fund  on  Connectivity.  The  guidelines  and  eligibility  for  accessing  the  three Sub-Funds were also finalized. An initial contribution of US$2.8 million has been made to the three new Sub-Funds, ASF General Fund, Supply Chain Connectivity Sub-Fund, and PSU.

China also carried out capacity building programs with about 1,000 training opportunities in areas like trade and investment in 2015, with a view to delivering its promise in 2014 to voluntarily provide 1,500 training opportunities for APEC developing economies in three years.

To meet the growing demand of regional knowledge sharing in financial areas, China upgraded the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center into the Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Institute. Since the Beijing AELM, the AFDI, together with its partners, has organized 20 short-term workshops and seminars, with more than 1,000 participants, in the areas of financial inclusion, fiscal reform, development evaluation, and PPP.

Furthermore,   China   has   initiated   and   actively   promoted   the   Cross-border E-Commerce Training (CBET) program which has so far invited 20 experts from 6 economies, conducted over 40 online and offline training courses and trained more than 100 trainees from 15 economies.

2. The following is the list of capacity building programs China hosted/co-hosted this year, in addition to those already mentioned above:

  • Workshop on Infrastructure Development and Financing (December 2014)
  • Dialogue on APEC Cooperation Network on Green Supply Chain(May 2015)
  • PPSTI Innovation Policy Sharing Seminar(June 2015)
  • Seminar on Circular Economy Policy for APEC Members (June 2015)
  • APEC Financial Regulators Training Initiative Regional Seminar on Enforment (July 2015)
  • APMEN Public-Private Dialogue (August 2015)
  • APEC Smart City Technical Session 1 (August 2015)
  • The 9th APEC Cooperation for Earthquake Simulation (ACES) International Workshop (August 2015)
  • Seminar on FTAAP: Asia-Pacific Economic Integration by 2020 and Beyond
  • (October 2015)
  • APEC Smart City Policy and Enterprise Session (October 2015)
  • APEC Regional Workshop on Measurement Challenges in Renewable Energy and Climate Science (October 2015)
  • Seminar on Trade and Investment and Global Value Chain for APEC Members (October-November 2015)
  • APEC Workshop of Measurement on TiVA under GVCs (November 2015)

Part VI.    Looking Forward

1. The APEC family has good reasons to be proud of the early harvest of the Beijing outcomes as a result of  the hard  work this year.  The achievements stem from members' commitment to shape the future through Asia-Pacific Partnership; our respect for the diversity   of APEC member economies and their respective development models; the spirit of mutual trust, inclusiveness, and win-win cooperation.

2. From Beijing to Manila, APEC has made a big stride forward. Yet there’s still a long way ahead. Towards a full harvest, China will work harder and closer with other members to implement the Beijing outcomes through strengthening policy dialogue and coordination, carrying out practical cooperation, sharing experience and undertaking capacity building projects. In the next step, China will host or actively engage in the following projects and initiatives (including but not limited to):

  • To host the 1st APEC Workshop on Capacity Building for Green Supply Chain
  • To reduce tariffs on the 54 products in the APEC List of Environmental Goods (1 January 2016)
  • To host High-Level Seminar on Small Farmer and SMEs Food (Rice, Wheat, Corn) Loss -Reduction Technology and Experience, and related activities. (July 2016)
  • To host the 9th APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Technology Conference and Fair (SMETC) (July 2016)
  • To host the 1st APEC high-level meeting on urbanization (2016)
  • To host the 4th APEC Blue Economy Forum (2016)
  • To continue to participate in the FTAAP Collective Strategic Study which will be finalized and presented to APEC Leaders, along with any recommendations (2016)
  • To complete the contribution of US$10 million to APEC (2015-2019)
  • To complete the provision of 1,500 training opportunities on capacity building programs for APEC developing members (2015-2017)
  • To join APEC members to complete the construction of APEC TiVA Database (2018)
  • To join APEC members to complete all pilot projects under the framework of APMEN (2018)
  • To participate in implementing the Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020 Initiative and its Roadmap (2014-2020)
  • To participate in implementing the APEC Food   Security Business Plan (2014-2020)
  • To participate in implementing the APEC Food Security Roadmap toward 2020 (2020)
  • To participate in implementing the APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste (2020)
  • To participate in implementing the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance (2020)
  • To join APEC members in implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025 (mid-term review in 2020, and final review in 2026)

3. The Asia-Pacific region is moving into a new phase of economic cooperation and integration, with challenges to overcome and opportunities to seize. China will join hands with other member economies to continue and develop APEC agenda. Let us work closely to develop inclusive economies and build a better world, in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, towards the realization of the Asia-Pacific dream of common development, prosperity and progress.

Annex D: Progress Report on APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chain Development and Cooperation

Purpose: Consideration
Submitted by: CTI Chair

Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting
Manila, Philippines
13-14 November 2015

In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains (GVCs) Development and Cooperation and decided to realize efficient and workable GVCs within and between each of APEC economies. GVCs, as a dominant feature of the global economy, would offer new  prospects  for  growth,  competitiveness   and  job  creation  for  APEC economies at all levels of development. Meanwhile, given the diverse needs and situations of APEC economies participating in global trade networks today, APEC Leaders recognized  that an overall policy direction guiding improved cooperation  and  a more  focused  GVC  evolution  is essential  to  facilitating sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth in the Asia-Pacific region. In this context, APEC Leaders set up principles and 10 work streams for future GVCs undertakings.

So far, APEC members have been intensifying their work in an effective and cooperative manner with remarkable progress as follows.

1.  Addressing trade and investment issues that impact GVCs. (led by the US)

APEC  put  forward  the  proposal  on  Addressing   Barriers  to  Trade  and Investment in the Context of Global Value Chains:   Increasing Transparency of Measures Affecting Exports and got approval at SOM3. It aims to raise the awareness on the significance of increasing transparency on trade measures; explore the scope of export restriction measures; and support the Philippines efforts to establish an APEC Trade Repository (APEC TR) among APEC members. The proposal defines quite a few further actions to be taken.

APEC held a trade policy dialogue on how “APEC Best Practices to Create Jobs and Increase Competitiveness”  could also be applied to other types of localization polices in August. The next steps and timelines set forth in the summary,  including  additional  trade policy dialogues  and activities in 2016, were agreed by CTI. In addition, an exhaustive list of ongoing and pending cross-fora  initiatives  is  under  compilation. Member  economies  have  been requested to fill out a template listing their projects so as to create one list within a “living document” that may be updated as agreed, under the guidance of the FoTC Group on GVCs.

2.  APEC GVCs and TiVA Measurement ( co-led by China and the US)

APEC Leaders endorsed the Strategic Framework on Measurement of APEC Trade in Value Added (TiVA) under GVCs and its Action Plan. APEC has been carrying  forward  the work with an aim to the establishment  of APEC TiVA Database by 2018.

Trade Ministers in Boracay endorsed Terms of Reference and the Work Plan, of TiVA, which built up the operational foundation of the APEC-TiVA work. In ToR, the objectives, tasks, funding, rules and review clauses of the technical group have been elaborated. Furthermore, a questionnaire on SUTs and Extensions  has been circulated with 16 feedbacks  by the end of July. The extracted   results  as  well  as  methodologies   have  been  presented   and circulated. By now China and the US have finished their own SUTs for other members’   reference.   Moreover,   the   Core   Expert   Working   Team   has established with the first batch of 11 members, and held twice Technical Group meetings by now.

As for the capacity  building  programs,  China  has held a capacity  building program  by self-funding  for APEC member  economies  from October 22 to November 5, 2015. Twenty-four  officials and experts from Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Brunei Darussalam participated in this program.

3.  Realize  the  critical  role  of  trade  in  services  within  GVCs  (led  by Australia)

The Work Plan was endorsed  at CTI1, covering:  1) A stocktake  of related initiatives; 2) Consideration to better support GVCs and to avoid duplication between initiatives; 3) An action plan of new initiatives.

So far, an initial stocktake of initiatives has been performed, which is expected to  be  finalized  soon.  APEC  will  discuss  how  these  initiatives  could  be enhanced to better support GVCs and to avoid duplication between initiatives, and will propose new initiatives in this regard.

Australia is implementing a new case studies initiative under this work stream.

The first phase, a joint meeting of the GOS and MAG, was implemented in Cebu, where three economies presented on market-opening services reforms in their respective economies. A TOR was endorsed for the PSU to undertake an independent analysis of four case studies, constituting Phase 2, which may be undertaken in conjunction with the Economic Committee by consensus in 2016.

4. Enable developing economies to better participate in GVCs (co-led by Indonesia and China)

The Work Plan was approved at CTI2. And the proposal on APEC Initiatives on Leveraging GVC contribution to Development is now in consultation. China is going to raise fund and set up a team for a research program. APEC will work closely with international organizations, such as WTO, OECD, and APEC PSU so as to address problems of developing economies and enable them to better participate into GVCs. The summary report will be submitted to APEC.

5. Assist SMEs to benefit from GVCs (led by Korea)

The Terms of Reference of Promoting SME’s Integration into GVCs has been endorsed in 2014. The concrete efforts in five major industries under this work stream, including  IT/electronics,  automotive,  textile/apparel,  healthcare,  and agribusiness, have been made.

As for the IT/electronics, Korea held four rounds of an Industry Forum and a one-day  workshop  for  in-depth  discussion   on  identifying  obstacles  and strategies  for SME’s integration  into GVCs. With regard to the Automotive, three   workshops   were   conducted   by   the   Philippines   and   Malaysia, supplemented  with a survey, to identify the challenges and impediments for SME   automotive   parts   suppliers’   integration   into   global   and   regional automotive  value chains. Regarding  to the Textiles  and Apparel,  four case studies have been planned to be conducted  in due course and a two day workshop  will be held  in the first quarter  of 2016  in Viet Nam. About  the healthcare industry, the United States held a one-day forum to discuss the barriers to trade of safe and effective medical products. A study on Policies Affecting Trade in Healthcare Products in APEC has been undertaken as well to identify barriers that affect trade flows in healthcare products in APEC region. In  regard  to  the  Agribusiness,  Thailand  is  currently  conducting  empirical research  in livestocks  (poutlry),  fisheries  (frozen  food)  and  organic  rice  to identify non-tariff barriers, business environment and capacity building needs for agribusiness SMEs taking part in GVCs. Then Thailand has held a seminar on “The Integration of Thai Agribusiness SMEs into the GVCs”.

Building on the outcomes achieved in the five industries, a final policy report and a comprehensive seminar will be undertaken in 2016.

6. Improve the investment climate for GVCs development (led by Japan)

The Work Plan was endorsed at SOM1 covering: 1) Study on the present state of investment  climate  to explore  improving  measures  and actions.  2) Hold Public  Private  Dialogues  (PPDs)  for  sharing  and  exchanging  views  with relevant private sectors. 3) Develop an Action Plan for effective investment facilitation   and   encourage   efforts   of   APEC   member   economies.   The co-sponsors are Australia, Malaysia, Peru, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei and recently joined Vietnam.

The Study composed of two steps. First, conduct of a survey to take stock of the present state of investment climate. Second, based on the findings of the survey,  explore  the measures  and actions for further improving  investment climate for GVCs development. Both will be conducted by a neutral and expertized study team.

Furthermore, APEC economies were divide into 3 sub-regional groups , and the  Study  team  is  envisaged  to  visit  US  and  Chile  (Group  1);  Australia, Indonesia and Singapore (Group 2); China and Hong Kong, China (Group 3) to conduct interviews with relevant government authorities and companies that invest in the economies.

With regard to PPDs, as stipulated in the Work Plan, each PPD will be led and coordinated by one of the economies in the sub-regional group (ie, Peru for group 1, Australia will take initiative to hold in Malaysia for Group 2 and Japan for group 3) to incorporate the perspectives from private sectors..

7. Adopt effective trade facilitation measures (led by Singapore)

The Proposal on Trade Facilitation (TF) in Global Value Chains (GVCs) was endorsed   at  CTI2  as  a  living  document.   The  annual   assessments   of economies’   progress   in  implementing   TF  measures   will  be  conducted hopefully,  with a focus  on those  measures  in the WTO  TF Agreement.  A compendium  of  TF  case  studies / best  practices  will  be  developed.  As economies develop the Second Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Action Plan, APEC  will  explore  ways  to  improve  APEC  economies’  EoDB  indicators through their implementation of TF measures.

A Trade Policy Dialogue (TPD) on Trade Facilitation will be held in Peru in 2016 to discuss best practices to implement  TF measures  in the WTO TF Agreement. Besides, a workshop on Import and Export will be given in 2016.

8. Enhance resiliency of GVCs (led by Japan)

The key outcomes of the Comprehensive Analysis on Enhanced Resiliency of Cross-Border Value Chains were briefed at CTI1. The Synthesis Report of the series of studies has been released on APEC website The Work Plan on this work-stream was endorsed at CTI1, which envisages new initiatives to make collaborative effort to enhance cross-border value chain resilience, with regard to one or some of the following sub-issues: 1) natural disaster risks, 2) logistics and infrastructure risks, 3) market risks, 4) regulatory risks and 5) political risks. And the proposal Enhancing Resilience of Global Supply Chains/Value Chains to Natural Disasters was also endorsed at CTI1. At CTI3, a draft APEC Guidebook on Resilience of Global Value Chains (GVCs) Against Natural Disasters was proposed and discussed, and it was endorsed intersessionally..

Preparation  for  a  capacity  building  seminar  is  underway  on  enhancing resilience of supply chain/value chains to natural disasters, which will be an opportunity to exchange best practices of measures enhancing resilience and deepening  understanding  on  the  issue,  with  a  view  to  sharing  common directions among policy makers and program managers of APEC economies.

9. Encourage public-private partnerships for GVCs (Encouraged to be undertaken in other work streams)

All APEC member economies have made good use of public-private partnerships  while  advancing  the  cooperation  on  GVCs  with  a  view  to enhancing trust and shared understanding between private and public sectors. Each work stream has benefited from this new style partnership, which will in return foster further GVC development.

10. Strengthen  collaboration  with other stakeholders on GVCs (led by China)

The work plan was endorsed at CTI1, covering: 1) to review the development and cooperation situation of the stakeholders involved in the APEC GVCs; 2) to identify the effects and problems on the development and cooperation on GVCs of related stakeholders; 3) to make suggestion on technical assistance policy and capacity-building project design according to the research results to advance the development and cooperation on GVCs.

A questionnaire  has been circulated  to relevant  international  organizations, such as OECD and WTO. A progress report will be produced based on the information and submitted to CSOM, 2015.

Newly-established Funding Source

SOM2 endorsed the proposal to set up three new sub-funds under ASF with a contribution of USD 6.5 million in 5 years from China as the co-lead of the FotC, of which  FTAAP  & GVC  Sub-Fund  secures  3 million USD  with  a view  to providing financial support for the implementation on Strategic Blueprint.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

World Bank, Presentation to the APEC Senior Finance Officials’ on “Regional Catastrophe Risk Pooling among APEC Members,” 12 June 2015.

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Footnote 2

AOMM3 Paracas Declaration.

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Footnote 3

FAO (2009) The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009 in the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security 2010.

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Footnote 4

FAO (2014) State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2014.

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Footnote 5

Note: Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems (MA 2006).

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