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2020 APEC CSOM Don CampbellOn behalf of the PECC co-chairs, Ambassador Don Campbell briefed the APEC Concluding Senior Officials Meeting on PECC perspectives on the development of the post-2020 APEC Vision. He noted that PECC had worked closely with APEC officials in the development of the post-2020 vision organizing a number Multistakeholder Dialogues with APEC since the process began back in 2016.

He emphasized the need for the post-2020 to address some of the longer term issues facing the region including the urgent question of income inequality, essential questions of climate change and while rapid technological change did have the potential to enhance prosperity it also has the ability to increase the tendency towards fragmentation.

He noted that there are issues on which APEC can make a difference, including its support for the multilateral trading system, ways to progress regional economic integration and finding ways to address the fragmentation of the digital economy in the months ahead. He emphasized the importance of the role of the business community in addressing sustainability issues.

He noted that the Covid-19 crisis had underscored the critical importance of the role connectivity in the flows of goods and people which needed to be addressed in the months ahead.

In thinking about the post-2020 vision, he said that the Blake Island Vision and Bogor Goals had required a leap of faith, that leap of faith had paid tremendous dividends for the region in terms of poverty reduction, innovation and growth. Such a leap of faith is once again required to restore the confidence of businesses and consumers in the direction of growth and future of the region. He informed officials that many of these issues were addressed in PECC’s forthcoming State of the Region Report and would be discussed in further detail to develop further ideas for regional cooperation on how to implement the post-2020 vision at PECC’s General Meeting in mid-December.

PECC Co Chairs 1On 11 March the World Health Organization made the assessment that the COVID-19 outbreak was a global pandemic. This virus has now spread across our entire region and the world. The impact on human life and economic activity has already been harsh and is likely to continue to be so. The World Health Organization has said that the response must be “a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact”. We have seen APEC member economies are strengthening cooperation and taking measures to combat COVID-19 and stabilize their economies. To contribute to regional cooperation on COVID-19 we have developed this webpage to share information and best practice on how our region is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Information posted here includes perspectives from our member committees on how their economies are responding to the crises, initiatives undertaken by our member committees, their host institutions and members to the crisis as well as expert opinions which reflect views from the submitting committees and do not necessarily represent those of the Co-Chairs or the Secretariat as a whole.

Last year’s State of the Region report concluded that “At a time when the economies are more interconnected than ever through digital technologies and facing common existential threats such as pandemics and more frequent and harsher natural disasters, the governance systems that facilitate coordinated responses need to be strengthened not weakened.” In this spirit we call on members of the PECC community to come together and leverage our expertise from our various fields and contribute in our way to finding solutions to this crisis and using the PECC as platform to learn from each other as we go through this troubled times together as one community.


*Special section on COVID-19 can be accessed here.

Sophia

The Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) co-organized the 2019 CSIS Global Dialogue in collaboration with the University of Prasetiya Mulya and GK Plug and Play Indonesia on Harness Frontier Technologies: Redesigning National, Regional and Global Architecture on 16-17 September 2019. H.E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance said that “if technological progress is used in a proper way, we are going to be able to have much higher productivity, value-added, efficiency and also reduce waste.”

The meeting took place against the backdrop of rising concerns on the rapid advancement of technology and how it will affect the global economy in terms of globalization, cyber security and future skills workforce. Participants engaged in a first-hand discussion with Sophia – a human-like robot modelled after actress Audrey Hepburn.


The discussions were organized into four plenary sessions:

  • Plenary Session 1: The New Technology Frontier in Big Picture
  • Plenary Session 2: Deep Economic Impacts of the Technology Revolution
  • Plenary Session 3: Security and Ethics in the Cyber Society
  • Plenary Session 4: Wrap up and Way Forward

In addition to the plenary discussions, stakeholders discussed several issues and recommendations during in-depth breakout sessions on:

  • The Intelligent Economy: Preparing for the Transition: Education and Reskilling
  • Trade and Investment Issues in the Digital Era: Regional and Plurilateral Initiatives: ASEAN, RCEP, TPP, APEC, Belt and Road Initiative: Common Denominators of Connected Intelligent Regions
  • Taxing the Intelligent Economy Cooperatively, Inclusively and Sustainably


Minister Sri Mulyani engaged in a dialogue with the rapporterus from the breakout sessions hearing the summary of the views of those who had participated in those in-depth discussions.

Regional economies need to prepare and enhance governance to ensure that they can benefit from technology advancement. There are still grey areas that need to be addressed, such as job security, data protection and ethics. For example, while taxing robots might be one way to bolster government revenues given the need to help displaced workers but in turn there are risks of harming innovations.

There are urgent questions that need to be addressed in a cooperative manner both within societies and internationally on not only what technology can do, but what it should and should not do. One step that should be considered to enhance the free flow of data is for governments, companies, and societies to develop common definitions of security, privacy, and trust.

For more details see https://www.pecc.org/event-calendar/past-events/event/581-2019-csis-global-dialogue-harnessing-frontier-technologies-redesigning-national-regional-and-global-architecture

State of the Region Report 2019-2020 Released in Kuala Lumpur

IMG 20191213 WA0004The fourteenth annual PECC State of the Region 2019-2020 report was released today. The SOTR is an annual report from PECC’s on the major developments affecting Asia-Pacific regional cooperation. It contains a macroeconomic overview of the current state of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the results of PECC's annual survey of the region's opinion leaders. This year, the survey was conducted from 5 August to 20 September and responses were received from 627 opinion leaders. The survey panelists were selected based on their expertise and direct involvement or influence on regional policy-making, coming from government, business and civil society.

The report shows the mood across Asia-Pacific has soured since last year with expectations for global growth turning distinctly negative. Regional economic growth is expected to slow from 3.8% in 2018 to 3.3% this year. Of greater concern is the sharp slowdown in the external sector with export growth slowing from 4% in 2018 to just 0.9% this year. While governments are acting to moderate a slowdown through stimulus measures and primarily interest rate cuts, other actions are also needed.

  • Regional economic growth is expected to decrease to 3.3% in 2019.
  • Export growth has slowed from 4% last year to just 0.9% this year for Asia-Pacific economies.
  • 64% of policy makers most concerned over escalating protectionism.
  • Only 26% agree that both APEC industrialized and developing economies have met the Bogor goals, while, 37% disagree.
  • In spite of this, 68% say that APEC is just as important as it was when it was created.
  • 83% of respondents highlight APEC’s ability to provide a platform for robust dialogue and effective cooperation among member economies.
  • Education and skills issues top the list of issues to promote more people-oriented growth moving ahead, with 86% saying that education and training strategies to upskill the workforce are important or very important

The list of risks remains the same as in 2018, with the exception of a slowdown in the US economy entering the top five list. The US economy has been going through its longest ever economic expansion overtaking the boom that lasted from 1991 to 2001 that ended with the bursting of the dotcom bubble. The report speculates that there is potential for more to come in the form of increased protectionism and trade wars and a further slowdown in world trade growth – the top two risks in this year’s survey. However, it notes that governments are undertaking measures to forestall a slowdown through significant stimulus measures and recommends that these be complemented by significant economic reforms.

Ambassador Su Ge, PECC Co-Chair, said: “As one of the most important international governmental organizations of the region, APEC has made great achievements in promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and enhancing economic and technical cooperation. As one of the three official observers of APEC. In recent years, we have seen notable uncertainties in the realm of global economic governance, including protectionism and risk of fragmentation of the regional economic integration. Next year, APEC will reach the milestones of 2020 which is the deadline for the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific. Therefore, for this year's SOTR, we chose to focus on the future of APEC.”

PECC’s report sets out stakeholder views on a range of issues that officials will grapple with throughout the next year with respect to the post-2020 vision for APEC.

The report also includes PECC’s innovative index on connectivity in the region. Eduardo Pedrosa, coordinator of the report said that, “Regional economic integration is not an end in itself. The ultimate objective is better quality of life and opportunity. Freer trade is a part of that, but we need the connectivity – the infrastructure, the ports, the customs, the education exchange and so on to make sure people are better able to benefit the enormous opportunities offered by trade – to make trade inclusive.”

Link to the report

GM-Mari-PangestuThe Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) held its 25th General Meeting in conjunction with the inaugural Global Dialogue organized by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). H.E. Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati Minister of Finance, and H.E. Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Industry from the Republic of Indonesia as well as Dato' Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary General and APEC's Executive Director Dr Alan Bollard provided high level insights into regional developments.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of rising concerns over global and regional governance given rising protectionist rhetoric and actions as well as the challenge for international policy coordination and coherence posed by climate change and rapid technological change.

 

 

The discussions were organized into 4 plenary sessions:

  • Plenary Session 1: The Need for a New Global Order?
  • Plenary Session 2: New Business Models
  • Plenary Session 3: The Mega-Regional Trade and Development Initiatives
  • Plenary Session 4: Regional Institutions and Architecture

In addition to the plenary discussions stakeholders discussed challenges to regional development during in-depth concurrent sessions on:

  • Environmental Issues and Climate Change
  • Policy Coordination in the Digital Economic Era
  • Towards More Inclusive Economic Development
  • The Future of Work

Regional economies need to take a fresh look at cooperation and integration to ensure that peoples incomes and livelihoods improve in the face of rapid technological change and climate change. According to experts gathered in Jakarta, the global economic system is currently under challenge. But these issues cannot be addressed without effective international cooperation. "The center of the world economy is now in the Asia-Pacific, but we need to take a bigger role to find solutions these complex issues that promote the creation of jobs and value across all our societies," said Mari Elka Pangestu, the Co-chair for Indonesian National Committee for PECC.

"Meanwhile, we are also witnessing a shift in political-economy arrangement and high level of uncertainty in the global system at exactly the time when these processes need to be more effective to deal with the growing connections among our business and people. There are currently two main regional strategy issues: First is the changes in the global economic structure, where we see political issues and motives affecting the economic policies including a potential trade conflict between the world's two biggest economies that would affect everybody else – especially the Asia-Pacific." said Jusuf Wanandi, Vice Chairman of Board of Trustees, CSIS Foundation.

See https://pecc.org/event-calendar/past-events/event/548-pecc-xxv-25th-pecc-general-meeting

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Pacific Currents

Digital Technologies, Services and the Fourth Industrial Revolutions
Submitted by Jane Drake-Brockman, Christopher Findlay, Yose Rizal Damuri and Sherry Stephenson 


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