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Host PH lists APEC 2015 initiatives

The Philippines will prioritize four areas of discussion – regional economic agenda with the end of drafting the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP); SME; human resources; and, building sustainable communities — by world leaders when it hosts the 2015 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) next year, documents showed.

Documents showed that the Department of Trade and Industry has met with the Department of Foreign Affairs recently to come up with the updated list of APEC 2015 Priorities and Sub-Priorities.

“Enhancing the Regional Economic Agenda” topped the list of the Philippine Priority Initiatives, which also indentified four action plans to support this APEC priority.

Under this priority, the APEC 2015 is expected to advance the planned Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) by instructing the APEC senior officials to draft the FTAAP roadmap.

While APEC will push for the FTAAP, the APEC Leaders Summit is expected to also come up with a statement in support of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference.

This priority also calls for the establishment of Asian Region Funds Passport to strengthen financial markets. Other sub-priorities include promoting people to people and labor connectivity through services, and adjusting regulatory coherence by strengthening capacity-building initiatives for regulatory institutions and institutional connectivity.

On the second priority “Fostering SMEs Participation in Regional and Global Markets”, this calls for the creation of open and transparent business environments for SMEs through Customs Business initiatives, and modernization and standards conformance.

This priority also proposes for the promotion of inclusive growth through sustainable and resilient SMEs with support for micro-insurance, credit surety fund, and social entrepreneurship.

On the third priority “Supporting and Investing In Human Resources”, the Philippines would like APEC 2015 to  promote knowledge-based economy through enhanced cross border education; promotion of science and technology education; and skills development for the 21st century as key to developing the competitiveness of industries and to achieve inclusive growth.

This Philippine initiative also calls for the strengthening and protection of human capital in APEC.

On “Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities”, the Philippines has called for the promotion of disaster risk reduction and management, and enhancing food security and the “blue economy” as well as addressing climate change. (Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat)