APEC Summit 2017, Vietnam

Da Nang, Vietnam – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez called on the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to focus on discussions and initiatives centered on promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth during the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting on 8 November.

“It is our duty as ministers to reinvent the globalization model wherein progress and growth are extended to the bottom of the pyramid. This is the only way that we will be able to realize the Bogor Goals and usher APEC’s role beyond 2020,” said Sec. Lopez.

The DTI chief also highlighted the role of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and its development and internationalization in pushing inclusive economic growth and development.

As the Philippines’ (PH) trade minister, Sec. Lopez also expressed the country’s support for APEC’s programs in promoting green and sustainable MSMEs through the Green Economic Development. The set of policies pushing for the creation of climate-smart and environment-friendly industries are now integrated in the manufacturing industry sector, particularly for the automotive, auto parts, pulp and paper, plastic, housing, and furniture industries.

On the e-commerce discussion, PH has submitted its intent to participate in the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA) and work with economies in ensuring compliance with international standards to address MSMEs’ issues on security as well as privacy in the internet and digital economy.

“PH continues its support for the MSME sector as we co-lead the development of the APEC MSME Work Programme with Malaysia. We have also shared our inputs on tariffs, investments, non-tariff measures, transparency, and capacity-building discussions,” Sec. Lopez added.

Meanwhile, in another intervention with APEC member economies, Sec. Lopez urged for the promotion of capacity-building efforts and technical collaborations that will increase the value-add of industries and MSMEs, as well as maximizing their potential in the global economy while achieving inclusive growth.

“APEC’s role in promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive growth can be more meaningful if we are able to influence our respective regional economic integration groupings with the principles of real inclusivity,” trade chief said.

In the same venue, the DTI chief called on member economies to address the issues on growing non-tariff barriers, which hamper market access and affect developing economies.