• APEC officials support Cebu Action Plan

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    MACTAN ISLAND, Cebu: Senior officials from the 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) express their support for the Cebu Action Plan (CAP) as they gather here for the final draft of document before its formal launch on Friday.

    “We are running towards the final stretch in the finalization of the Cebu Action Plan. A roadmap for a more inclusive and resilient future is at hand. Senior finance officials from all 21 member economies will do well to remember that their work will be a lasting legacy etched in this beautiful island of Mactan. I look forward to the outcome of this meeting,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in his welcome remarks to the delegates on Wednesday.

    CAP is a development roadmap for the Asia-Pacific, drafted by the Philippines with inputs from other APEC members, multilateral organizations, and the private sector through the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

    Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran said that there is broad support for the pillars of the action plan as necessary to make APEC a resilient and rapidly growing region.

    The four pillars are: financial integration, fiscal reforms and transparency, financial resilience, and infrastructure development and financing.

    Financial integration aims to ease trade and investments by rationalizing and harmonizing the rules on cross-border flow of funds.

    Fiscal reforms and transparency promotes sound policy and access to data on state revenues and expenditures. By allowing greater scrutiny, CAP proponents believe that governments will be forced to improve efficiency in public spending.

    Financial resilience seeks to make households, communities, enterprises, and governments resilient to various shocks, including natural calamities. A key feature of this pillar is the promotion of accessible and affordable insurance products.

    Infrastructure development and financing seek to improve mobility and connectivity in the region by promoting more public-private partnerships in public infrastructure.

    With prudent measures proposed under the key pillars of the action plan, Asia-Pacific will have a greater chance of confronting external headwinds, Beltran said.

    “Despite being a driver of the global economy, Asia-Pacific is vulnerable to risks. But with the measures proposed under the CAP, the region can be better guided on how to ensure sustainability and to improve inclusivity of growth in a coordinated manner,” he said.

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