APEC 2018 concludes

Free and open trade, economic integration and inclusivity, digital economy and innovation, gender and food security were amongst the agendas that topped the leaders’ discussions.

Amidst global challenges and economic conditions of today, APEC leaders will continue to focus on the efforts in trying to reduce inequalities and overcome trade barriers to drive growth and ensure prosperity.

Harnessing inclusive opportunities and embracing digital future was the heart of the discussions.

“This has been a very interesting subject discussed amongst APEC leaders because it is about connecting people, businesses and importantly for efficient service delivery in health, education, financial inclusion and improving transparency for growth in the region,” said host Prime Minister and Chairman of the Summit, Peter O’Neill.

Prime Minister O’Neill said leaders also recognised technology disruptions within the region and noted the importance of addressing them in order to keep businesses and jobs alive.

He highlighted that while it is vital to embrace technology and its advancements, maintaining jobs is paramount.

“That is where the APEC leaders have to make decisions as countries for the coming years so that we can keep our people with jobs and at the same time, increase and develop technological changes.

“This is more so we have to ensure that our children and professionals who are skilled in certain fields, when technology replaces their skills, they must be re-skilled for other jobs,” stated O’Neill.

Going forward, the leaders have agreed to aspire to achieve the Post 2020 vision of free and open trade, inclusive growth, empower women, food security and achieve structural reforms.

Carolyn Ure