Senior government officials and industry representatives from twenty one Asia-Pacific economies convened in Lima, Peru from August 15 – 28 to address a range of issues affecting trade and investment in the region and finalize outcomes for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting, November 19 – 20.
Outstanding issues include a U.S. proposal for a permanent moratorium on customs duties for digitally transmitted products; the recommendations APEC Leaders will endorse regarding moves to examine a potential Free-Trade Area of the Asia Pacific; and specific actions economies will take to liberalize services trade in the region.
The meetings also provided opportunities for private sector representatives to engage with government officials on a number of issues with commercial impact including:
Chemical regulation: regulators and trade officials met with industry representatives to discuss the application of good regulatory practice principles in the chemical sector and implementation of the U.N. based global system for the classification and labeling of chemicals and hazard communication.
Environmental goods and services: trade and environmental officials worked with industry on draft guidelines to facilitate trade and investment in sustainable materials management (e.g. recycling, waste to energy) technologies as part of a larger initiative on reducing marine debris.
Digital/data economy: discussions were held on the impact of digital innovations on society, new private sector led initiatives to facilitate the use of big data in medical research, and the promotion of training in data science and data analysis.
Food safety: workshops were held on effective cooperation between industry and regulators with a focus on increasing transparency and improving public consultation on new or revised regulations as well as a new private sector led initiative on hand hygiene in food processing facilities.
Advertising: a public-private workshop to move forward self-regulation in advertising was held, opened by the Second Vice President of Peru, Mercedes Araoz.
Regulatory convergence for medical products: industry and regulators convened to advance a network of regulatory science centers of excellence to build regulator capacity in priority areas such as multi-regional clinical trials, biotherapeutics and supply chain integrity (in support of APEC’s goal of regulatory convergence for medical product approvals by 2020).
High-level meeting on health: health ministers and industry representatives met in plenary and bilateral meetings to discuss priority issues including healthcare financing and addressing barriers in the healthcare product supply chain. Health officials also collaborated with the private sector on initiatives to promote women’s health and economic participation.