What are the APEC 2015 priorities of the Philippines as host Economy?

In APEC 2015, the Philippines as Host Economy shall seek to mainstream and pursue its priorities into the agenda and economic policy thrusts of the member economies in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the priorities were identified as follows:

  • Investing in Human Capital Development;
  • Fostering Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) Participation in Regional and Global Economy;
  • Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities; and
  • Enhancing the Regional Economic Integration Agenda.

What is the relevance of each priority to the Asia-Pacific region?

Each priority has substantial and unique significance to the member economies of the Asia-Pacific region. The priorities are then complemented with sub-priorities that would support their realization and serve as building blocks for the fulfillment of the overarching objective of APEC 2015 – inclusive growth. The implications brought by these priorities may have varying degrees of importance yet otherwise prove to be inter-related and interwoven in nature.


Human resources play a vital role in the attainment of the objectives of member economies, namely – enhanced job generation, improved productive employment opportunities, and greater economic growth. As such, human capital development will be promoted through discussions on education, innovation, and capacity-building that would substantially affect the future of growth and stimulate the growth of the future. The identified sub-priorities are:

  • Promoting knowledge-based economies;
  • Promoting science & technology education and innovation in APEC;
  • Developing job skills needed by APEC business in the 21st century; and
  • Internationalization of education/cross-border education to develop APEC-wide skills.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are estimated to account for more than 97 percent of all businesses (99.6 percent in the Philippines) and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies.1 Acknowledging the significant contribution of businesses to job creation and economic growth, increased emphasis will be placed on the goal of integrating and internationalization of SMEs including their participation in global value chains (GVCs). The sub-priorities are the following:

  • Removing barriers to SMEs, including entry to markets;
  • Promoting inclusive growth through sustainable and resilient SMEs; and
  • Advocating modernization and standard conformance among SMEs.

The changing global environment, along with natural and man-made disasters, has brought tremendous Loss and Damage (L&D) and disruptions to the interlinked supply and demand sides of the Asia-Pacific trade. Moreover, disasters and disaster-related events negatively impact the image of member economies as stable, worthwhile investment destinations. Strengthened efforts will thus be focused on the resilience and sustainability of APEC business and communities affected by energy and food security. Increased attention will also be given to the preservation of ocean ecosystems and marine resources due to their critical importance for the Blue Economy-oriented member economies. The s

ub-priorities are:

  • Creating and promoting risk reduction and management in APEC economies;
  • Building resilient infrastructure;
  • Fostering business continuity;
  • Building SMEs’ resilience to disaster;
  • Enhancing food security and the Blue Economy in the APEC region; and
  • Promoting coastal management and marine conservation.

Currently, there are an estimated 42 Regional Free Trade Agreements between and among APEC economies. Negotiations are also taking place on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)2 and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)3. The long-term vision of the APEC is a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) that will establish a single FTA among all APEC economies. As host of APEC 2015, the Philippines is expected to support and continuously work on the regional economic integration (REI) agenda with special focus on trade in services, which amounts to almost half of APEC economies’ GDP. The sub-priorities were identified as:

  • Strengthening regional economic integration through the Bogor Goals4;
  • Promoting connectivity through Trade in Services, which will focus on the people-to-people and institutional connectivity within the region;
  • Advancing financial markets aimed at creating stronger financial institutions within the region to better respond to prospective economic shocks; and
  • Strengthening global supply chain/global value chains in the APEC region.

* Prepared by the Foreign Service Institute in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs
Layout by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office / APEC 2015 Strategic Communications Committee

Source: http://apec2015.ph/apec-2015/date accessed March 4, 2015

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