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APEC SOM 3 and Related Meetings continue on fourth day

Released at: 14:34, 22/08/2017 APEC Viet Nam 2017

APEC SOM 3 and Related Meetings continue on fourth day

At the Workshop on Enhancing Regulator Expertise on the WTO TBT Agreement . Photo: apec2017.vn

With 12 meetings, working groups and sub-committees focused discussions on various fields of cooperation among APEC members.

by Van Long

The APEC SOM3 and Related Meetings continued into the fourth day on August 21 in Ho Chi Minh City, with 12 meetings of the Health Working Group (HWG), the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), the Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF), the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACTWG), the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) - Data Privacy Subgroup (ECSG - DPS), the Investment Experts’ Group (IEG), the Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), the Market Access Group (MAG), the Automotive Dialogue (AD), and the Chemical Dialogue (CD).

Building on long-standing recognition of the critical role that regulatory systems play in enabling life sciences innovation, the LSIF held the High-level Dialogue on Innovation, Regulatory Systems, and Regulatory Convergence. There were about 150 participants representing international organizations, governmental agencies, the business community, and academia from APEC economies. Participants exchanged views on the reform of drug review and approval, the promotion of innovation by participating in the harmonization of international standards and rules, and the role of the LSIF, regulators, and industry in facilitating regulatory convergence in support of accelerating life sciences innovation and making innovative medical products available.

In its first day of meeting, the EPWG presided over its 12th plenary session. Participants were briefed on a preliminary report for the 11th plenary session. They then discussed the deliverables of the Project of Enhancing Rural Disaster Resilience through Effective Infrastructure Investment as well as measures to effectively implement the APEC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Framework. Adopted in 2015, the DRR Framework aims to contribute to adaptive and disaster-resilient Asia-Pacific economies that can support inclusive and sustainable development in the face of increasing natural disasters. This framework cuts across all areas of the APEC agenda, including agriculture, forestry, fisheries, trade, investment, energy, micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), infrastructure development, critical infrastructure resiliency, financial resiliency, health, gender issues, food security, science and technology, and ecological integrity.

The Health Working Group (HWG), meanwhile, held its plenary session to review and assess ongoing projects, including the Workshop on the Monitoring of Universal Health Coverage Progress in the APEC region: “Toward a Healthy Asia-Pacific 2020”, A-TRACTION (Asian Tuberculosis Research and Clinical Trials Integrated Organizational Network), Building Capacity in Infection Control and Outbreak Containment to Novel Pathogens in Healthcare Settings, the International Workshop on Adaptation to Aging Populations, and the APEC Conference on Severe Dengue Prevention and Strategies for Reducing Disease Burden. The HWG will convene a series of meetings and activities on August 22 in preparation for the High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy on August 23.

The Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) began its first working day with the Workshop on Enhancing Regulator Expertise on the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The workshop focused on issues related to regulators, such as regulatory quality, the application of good regulatory practices (GPRs), regulatory cooperation, and conformity assessment. These are member economies’ commitments under their individual action plans in order to implement the Renewed APEC Agenda on Structural Reform (RAASR). Through this workshop, delegates could identify tools and best practices to develop, adopt, and implement necessary and effective regulations, consider the best approaches in regulatory cooperation, analyze methods for conducting regulatory impact assessments, determine when to conduct such analysis, and explore the WTO’s new regulations on technical barriers to trade.

On its second working day, the EGILAT and delegates focused discussions on the APEC economies’ need for capacity building in the fight against illegal logging and associated trade as well as on the cooperation between EGILAT and the SCCP and the ACTWG. Moreover, the Group was also updated on the implementation of ongoing projects, elected a new chairman, and set out objectives and action plans for EGILAT in 2018.

The Chemical Dialogue Group (CD) held a Regulators’ Forum. The Chemical Dialogue plays an important role in strengthening the connection and cooperation between APEC’s member economies and entrepreneurs in safe chemical substance management to find solutions for the chemical industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The Dialogue Group will continue tomorrow, with a workshop on Sharing Best Practices in Chemicals Regulation.

For the second day, the ECSG - DPS continued discussions about the Cross-Border Privacy Rules System (CBPR) and Cross-Border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA). Reports on the progress of member economies in information privacy were also presented, and delegates also discussed the next steps for the Sub-Group.

The MAG also convened their first meeting. Supporting the multilateral trading system and regional economic integration were high on the agenda. Issues on strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development were also discussed.

Together with the MAG, the IEG started its series of meetings. The IEG was established to promote transparency of investment regimes, facilitate investment activities and investment liberalization in the region, as well as encourage and facilitate free and open investment in the region.

The ACTWG held its coordination meeting with international organizations, while the AD and the SCCP concluded their final sessions.

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