• APEC official meeting focuses on services

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    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1) held the First Public Private Dialogue last Tuesday at the Fontana Leisure Park, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines.

    The Philippines as APEC 2015 host economy, in cooperation with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) of the Philippines and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) focused on the service in the first series of dialogues in 2015.

    “The time is right for services to be put on the APEC agenda,” remarked keynote speaker, Jane Drake-Brockman of the International Trade Center (ITC).

    “Services play a critical role in Global Value Chains (GVC) development and cooperation as defined in APEC, taking into account the perspectives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they strive to maximize participation in the GVC,” he said.

    The dialogue envisioned to guide and engage with APEC’s public and private stakeholders in: Examining developments, challenges and opportunities, and identifying new strategies for building the full potential of the services sector; Generating policy options toward removing barriers to services trade; Developing an innovative approach in pursuing the services agenda of APEC; and Fostering collaboration and best practice exchanges to promote services growth in the APEC region.

    The first PPD on Services covered Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM), Creative Industries, and Research and Development Services. The participants, composed of representatives from the 21 APEC member-economies, various government agencies, and the business sector, were treated to evocative discussions on the latest trends and developments in services has long been recognized by APEC as an important driver of global economy.

    The PPD discussions were led by experts from multilateral institutions and think-tanks such as the ITC, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Beijing Normal University, and APEC Policy Support Unit, as well as representatives from business including major players such as Google, Citi, Time Warner, Facebook and eBay. Rising industries such as the Philippine Animators Group and “micro multi-national” Franklin Philipps took part.

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