APEC senior officials' meeting wraps up after discussions on economic connectivity, infrastructure

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-13 17:23:30|Editor: Yurou
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PORT MORESBY, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from the 21 APEC economies concluded their two-day meeting here on Tuesday, after commencing policy deliberations on jointly advancing regional economic integration and connectivity, digital entrepreneurship and market access for businesses of all sizes.

"We meet during a very crucial period, both globally and regionally, amidst economic uncertainty and other challenges that threaten the economic prosperity and integration and stability of our region," said Ivan Pomaleu, 2018 Chair of APEC Senior Officials.

"While this uncertainty, on the face of it, may appear to some to suggest disunity or disharmony, in my view, it demonstrates to us the heightened need for us here today to stand in solidarity and be more strategic in how we respond to these challenges and identify and harness the opportunities in a productive and inclusive manner where all economies can benefit," he told officials.

Senior APEC officials reviewed the 2018 APEC Economic Policy Report, which highlighted the need for increased investment in infrastructure throughout the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the transport, energy and telecommunications sectors.

According to the report, many APEC economies are undertaking structural reform of their policies to develop quality infrastructure, including changes to legal frameworks and government procurement practices to facilitate private sector investment.

APEC economies will need to collectively spend 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars per year between 2020-2025, and more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars per year in the 2030-2035 period to meet their infrastructure needs, the report anticipated.

Speaking at the meeting, hosting Papua New Guinean Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said, "Policy discussions are going well. I look forward to receiving them with the leaders over the next few days."

"This has been a long road for a small economy like ours," he said of hosting the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting week from Nov. 12-18.

The senior officials' meeting will be followed by the APEC Ministerial Meeting on Thursday, and culminate with the APEC Leaders' Meeting on Saturday and Sunday.

This week's meetings aim to provide greater policy direction in APEC for delivering trade that harnesses new, technologically-driven growth drivers, sparks business innovation and employment, and brings better quality of life to people in all areas of the region.