Member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are working to ease barriers to trade in services that have the potential to contribute to inclusive growth in the region, an APEC official said Saturday.
Secretariat Executive Director Dr. Allan E. Bollard said that boosting trade in services is imperative especially to the Philippines being one of the leaders in this area.
“We’re trying to work out how regulation could be making it harder to trade in services, how policy should be designed for that, what are the best practices right around the APEC region for trade in services, how to encourage supply chains to develop with services and we’re getting databases on how that’s working right around the region,” he said in a press briefing in Cebu City.
Bollard underscored the importance of growing trade in services in the region amid the slowing trade growth following the global financial crisis.
“The APEC region is very advanced on trade in goods, but it’s actually not very advanced in trade in services. And that clearly is the big push for the future. So this year, we’ve had a lot of discussions on that and that’s continuing at meetings now,” he said.
To promote inclusive growth, Bollard said APEC is also addressing the trade constraints being faced by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“And the broad approach from APEC there is to try and allow micro and small business to access the driving forces of the international economy,” he said.
“And to do that (is) by getting access to free trade areas, to appropriate regulation, to electronic commerce in terms of getting goods and services across borders, getting access to finance, getting access to common platforms. APEC does a lot of work on at the border,” he added.