APEC Summit 2015 summary, review for reaction paper

Check out on this page the summary, highlights and review of the APEC 2015. Students may use this for their reaction paper.

APEC Summit 2015 summary, review for reaction paper

MANILA, Philippines – The recently concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 summit in Manila with the theme "Building inclusive economies, building a better world" was a success according to President Benigno Aquino III.

The APEC which was established in 1989, is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies (not only member countries) that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Member countries include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, China, People's Republic of China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russian Federation and Vietnam.

The highlight of the annual summit was the 23rd Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay on November 18-19, 2015. Heads of government of all APEC members including US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,  Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull are among the leaders who arrived in the country.

On this culminating event, the 30 APEC technical working groups and committees (Senior Officials) endorsed action plans and statements to Ministers and Leaders for adoption.

The Economic Leaders’ Meeting Declaration outlines new commitments for APEC members to take forward over the coming year to build inclusive economies; foster micro, small and medium enterprises’ participation in regional and global markets; build sustainable and resilient communities; invest in human capital development; and enhance the regional economic integration agenda.

APEC Leaders vow for building better economies during Declaration Meeting
APEC Leaders vow for building better economies during Declaration Meeting. Photo: APEC website

The Declaration states that while achieving ongoing economic transformation will not be easy, APEC Leaders are confident that APEC members will continue to drive regional and global economic prosperity through quality economic growth, as supported by these collective commitments.

In the past couple of days, discussions also took on a broader approach to discuss critical regional and global issues in the Asia-Pacific region such as technological innovation and the challenges presented by the ever-changing global economic milieu.

Throughout the year, representatives from all member economies held 229 meetings to advance individual economies and the region at large.

The following were discussed in various meetings throughout the year:

1. Boracay Action Agenda, which will help micro, small, and medium enterprises access the global and regional markets;

2. Cebu Action Plan, which will widen entrepreneurial access to financial markets;

3. Finalization of the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform, which will guide economies on which areas they need to reform to achieve sustained growth;

4. Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, which recognizes the impact of climate change on our region;

5. APEC Strategy for Strengthening Quality Growth, which will guide member countries in undertaking robust, comprehensive, and ambitious structural reforms over the next five years;

6. and Leaders approval of the APEC Services Cooperation Framework. The services sector is becoming a more important part of the economic equation. It makes up approximately two-thirds of the GDP in the APEC region.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama joined Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group, and Filipina engineer Aisa Mijeno in the discussions for the climate change issue and how countries and leaders should act on it now. Jack Ma called for the support and empowerment of the more than 10 million small businesses in the world while Mijeno, the founder of a company who makes ecological lamps that run on salt and water (SALt) emphasized that "climate change is real."

Here are the salient points on the partnerships with the member economies as discussed in the Economic Leaders' Meeting:

1. Mexico will help the Philippines to combat drug trafficking;

2. Philippines offered assistance in supporting Papua New Guinea agriculture sector;

3. Strategic partnership with Vietnam and Australia for the defense, disaster risk reduction, and food security;

4. USA would be turning over to the Philippines a research vessel and a coast guard cutter which will boost the capabilities of our Navy.

5. Manila and Tokyo are working on a deal to transfer military equipment to the country;

6. Agreement on the Establishment of a Philippine-Russia Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation seeks to facilitate and promote trade and economic cooperation between the two countries;

7. Memorandum of understanding between Chile and Philippines on disaster risk reduction management during Bachelet’s state visit;

8. South Korea's support for the Philippines's military modernization program;

9. Colombia offered knowledge and experience in anti-insurgency and anti-illegal drugs campaign;

10. Aquino and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key sought to expand cooperation in the areas of electronics and electrical equipment, automotive, information technology, business process management, engineering services, infrastructure and public-private partnership projects.

A number of leaders also expressed their support for the Philippines joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership which will offer access to a far larger market. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed support to the Philippines’ possible accession to the United States-led Trans-Pacific Partnership composed of 12 countries.

President Aquino thanked the Filipinos for the support on this event. "I am grateful to our countrymen who have expressed their support for our hosting. All my fellow leaders heaped praise on how our people have welcomed them, and their words really made me swell up with pride."

On the other hand, several groups of activists staged protests on APEC Week all over Metro Manila to demonstrate their appeal to junk APEC. With this, security of the PNP was tightened or at “maximum tolerance” policy toward protesters.

Several netizens also expressed their disappointment over the inflicted traffic caused by road closures in some areas near the venue.

Reports said that more than 11,000 attended in the annual summit. Peru will chair APEC throughout 2016 and host the 24th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.


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