Ships docked at portDevelopments of ports and of new maritime routes are ways to better link economies of PECC and enhance connectivity that facilitates regional and international trade. In the past recent years, maritime trade has been growing, to and from PECC economies in the Asia- Pacific, for reasons of reliability, efficiency, and lower costs.

This PECC international project aims to contribute to regional policy dialogues on improving connectivity, sustainability and mutual growth for the PECC economies on both sides of the Pacific that are seeking to develop new routes and enhance port operations to meet the increasing demand for maritime trade through the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

Representatives from government agencies, relevant institutions and businesses from PECC economies, who are responsible for the development of maritime trade in the Asia-Pacific region such as sea transport companies, port operators, designers and builders of vessels, dredging and port construction companies, hauling companies, trading companies, and related service providers will gather to exchange views and propose solutions for better connectivity in the Asia-Pacific. They will contribute to the discussions by sharing their experiences in collaborating with other players on major international projects.

The first seminar was held on 19-20 October 2015, in Papeete, at the invitation of the Government of French Polynesia. It took place between the annual meetings of cruise operators and of French port operators. The focus of the first seminar will be on the development of maritime trade in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming years and the following issues were discussed:

- What will the regional maritime trade look like in 2025 - what are the current trends and future projections? 
- What are the main drivers of increased pressure on sea routes and ports?
- What changes in vessels – both cargo and passenger (cruise ships, ferries) - are needed to meet the increased demand while meeting safety and environmental regulations?
- What are the implications: modernization of existing ports, new hubs, chokepoints, small ports?

The second seminar will be held in Busan, Korea on April 4-5, 2016 in partnership with the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI). 

View program agenda and presentations (available for download)

Executive summary of Papeete seminar

Mr Eduardo Pedrosa, PECC Secretary General joined a panel discussion on "Growth in a Challenging and Diverse Landscape: Asia and the Pacific" at the Singapore APEC Study Centre hosted by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The event was held following the APEC Senior Officials and Ministers Responsible for Trade Meetings held in in Boracay, Philippines.

The panelists were: 

  • Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director, APEC Secretariat
  • Mr. Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General, PECC International Secretariat
  • Dr. Denis Hew, Director of APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC Secretariat

Mr Pedrosa spoke on the findings of the State of Trade in the Region report which was released in Boracay. The panel addressed the following issues:

- Key outcomes from the Boracay APEC meetings?

- Challenges for the APEC economies towards enhancing regional economic integration and the FTAAP?

- Trade policy concerns of regional opinion-leaders as detailed in the PECC State of Trade in the Region 2015?

- How will the APEC economies perform in the light of increased global uncertainties in 2015 and 2016? What are some of the underlying risks for Asia-Pacific economies?



PPDS-Boracay-4-300x200PECC co-organized a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Services with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) of the Philippines in Boracay, Philippines on May 17th, just ahead of the annual APEC ministerial meeting for trade. The purpose of this dialogue was to deepen understanding of officials on the challenges faced by service providers in the region and contribute to the issues to be included in an APEC Services Cooperation Framework, a major initiative of the Philippines this year as the APEC chair.

The approach taken in this series of Public-Private Dialogues is to understand how companies operate their value chains in the region – some of this involves analytical work as well as hearing directly from service providers.

PPD on Services that took place in Clark, Philippines in February 2015 on the margins of the First Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM1) of APEC, covered information technology and business process management (IT-BPM), creative industries, and reserach and development services. This meeting was its follow-up PPD and focused on services relevant to the manufacturing, agriculture and environment-related sectors.

Program agenda and presentations for download


PECC Press Briefing BoracayRegional trade ministers gathering in Boracay for APEC should make improving the access of small companies to compete in global markets a top priority. In a survey conducted by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), 52 percent of respondents rated the facilitation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in global value chains as a top 5 priority for APEC, followed by the achievements of the Bogor Goals and the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP); services sector reforms and liberalization; the design of trade policy in response to global value chains; and how economies can move to upgrade their participation in global value chains.

‘The emphasis on the role of global value chains reflects the changing nature of how international trade takes place,” said Mr. Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General of the PECC. “Being an effective exporter also requires being an efficient importer, having high barriers to trade is the worst thing an economy can do if it wants to benefit from trade. Parts move from one place to another before final assembly and reaching the consumer - small trade costs are magnified by the number of times the parts move.”

While trade growth is expected to remain below levels before the global financial crisis, the policy community does expect growth to be stronger over the next 5 years. Export grew by 4.6 percent in 2013 and slightly slowed to 4.5 percent in 2014 while expectations for 2016 through 2017 are at 5.2 percent.

More policy reforms are needed to help especially small companies enter the global market directly and enter global values chains. This includes simplifying compliance with the rules of origin.

About 40 media representatives attended the press briefing that consisted of a presentation by PECC Secretary General Eduardo Pedrosa on the survey results followed by a Q&A session where Mr. Pedrosa was joined by Ambassador Antonio Basiliio, Chair of Philippine committee for PECC/ Head of Delegation for APEC 2015 MRT; and Ambassador Tan Guoqiang, Chair of Chinese committee for PECC. Over 300 opinion leaders from the region's government, business, and research/ media sectors contributed to the survey conducted during 7 to 28 April 2015.


Cover State of Trade 2015Download the full report: State of Trade in the Region 2015


Recording of the press briefing (YouTube)


Press release: Need to improve SME access to international trade to promote inclusive growth


News clippings

Symposium on the Internet Economy 051The internet now accounts directly for upwards of 3.4 percent of GDP in many economies. About half of this comes from e-commerce and an additional 30 percent from investments in information technology infrastructure by private firms. The importance of the internet to the broader economy is set to increase in the coming years as more firms integrate technology into their business operations, and as diverse communications tools become more interconnected across most aspects of work and society. As highlighted during the PECC Singapore Conference 2015, the internet economy cuts across multiple sectors posing difficulties for effective policy-making domestically let alone internationally. 

In 2014, APEC Leaders formally recognized the role of the internet economy in promoting innovative development and empowering economic participation of individuals and SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) as much as for MNCs (multinational companies). They instructed Ministers and officials to discuss the internet economy further, promote member economies' cooperation on developing the internet economy, and facilitate technological and policy exchanges to bridge the digital divide. APEC Ministers agreed to establish an Ad Hoc Steering Group to discuss such issues, propose action, and encourage collaboration across multiple APEC fora by endorsing the APEC Initiative of Cooperation to Promote Internet Economy.  

With the aim of supporting this initiative, PECC, in cooperation with the Philippines as the APEC chair for 2015, co-organizied a “Symposium on the Internet Economy” on May 18th, 2015 in Boracay, Philippines, during the week of annual APEC trade ministers' meeting. 

The Symposium brought together APEC senior officials, representatives from internet economy-related businesses and relevant organizations  to build on the multistakeholder dialogues underway since last year. The cross-cutting and borderless nature of the internet economy and ways to coordinate its socio-economic implications across different sectors and ministries of APEC were addressed. 

Watch the keynote speech by APEC 2015 SOM Chair Laura Del Rosario and Session One (YouTube)

Program agenda with presentations for download

Summary Report for APEC SOM2

Related press releases

Related news clippings

Photos from the Symposium (courtesy of APEC 2015 Philippines)


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