Senior Officials Set APEC’s 2015 Agenda Priorities

The priorities of Philippines’ APEC presidency in 2015 were set by Senior Officials from the region’s 21 member economiesat the conclusion of a key two-day planning meeting in Manila, with focus on expanding the benefits for more of the region’s 3 billion people and powering a new generation of trade, investment and sustainable economic growth amid changing global conditions. 


Initiatives to be taken forward in 2015 will center on:

  • Enhancing Regional Economic Integration
  • Fostering SMEs' Participation in the Regional and Global Economy
  • Investing in Human Capital Development
  • Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities

As Ambassador Laura Del Rosario, Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs noted: "The nature of the trading system and business is changing, and economies must adapt accordingly to keep up with the pace of these changes and ensure the prosperity of our people." 

To enhance regional integration, APEC economies will organize and lead a task force to undertake a two-year collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, as well as open a new technical capacity building initiative in pursuit of the FTAAP. Cooperation to reduce customs bottlenecks for goods at borders will also top the agenda—supporting the adoption of the global Trade Facilitation Agreement as well as APEC’s pursuit of a 10 per cent increase in regional supply chain performance by the end of 2015, from 2009 levels. Easing services trade barriers and strengthening financial institutions will also be points of emphasis.

Additional measures to foster small and medium enterprise development will include addressing hurdles to starting a business, getting credit, dealing with permits, enforcing contracts and trading across borders—in line with APEC’s goal to make it 25 per cent easier to do business in the region by the end of 2015, from 2009 levels, and facilitated by deeper cooperation in areas like structural reform and fighting corruption. Actions will moreover center on promoting SME sector modernization, standards conformance, commercial innovation, global production chain integration and increased value-added trade.

To strengthen investment in human capital development, further steps will be taken towards the goal of 1 million intra-APEC student exchanges annually by 2020, including advancement of a new APEC scholarship and internship initiative.

To build sustainable and resilient communities, APEC will endeavor to reduce tariffs on 54 “environmental goods” to 5 per cent or less by the end of 2015 and pursue further steps to double renewable energy in the region by 2030, from 2010 levels, cut carbon emissions and raise energy efficiency. Initiatives will also center on improving natural disaster risk reduction, food security and the management of health threats, as well as implementing APEC’s Connectivity Blueprint and Multi-Year Plan on Infrastructure Investment and Development.

The First APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and related technical meetings will take place on 26 January-7 February 2015 in Clark, about 100km from Manila. 
More information at official APEC web-site