The Second Senior Officials Meeting of the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members kicked off Wednesday in Boracay Island in central Philippine province of Aklan where they would continue discussions on new policy actions to boost sluggish trade and growth in Asia-Pacific economies.
On the table during the two-day APEC Senior Officials Meeting are next generation initiatives for strengthening regional economic integration and lifting barriers to trade and the flow of goods, services, people and capital between the region's economies, said Laura Del Rosario, Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and 2015 Chair of the APEC Senior Officials' Meeting.
She said the emphasis is on ensuring that APEC economies' people, businesses and governments are equipped to take advantage of new economic opportunities born out of greater interconnectedness and trade, and building smart, resilient communities that improve sustainability and living conditions.
Senior Officials are working out the hard details of a collective strategic study on the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific to build on ongoing regional undertakings such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and include all APEC members.
In the spotlight is the formulation of the Terms of Reference, led by China and the United States, that will set the course of the study due for review by APEC Leaders in 2016.
The Second APEC Senior Officials' Meeting will conclude on Thursday. It sets the tone for the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on May 23-24 to accelerate progressive trade and growth.