Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez made his point for a more inclusive services deal as the results of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR) Midterm Review showed an uneven progress among the APEC economies and further exacerbated by the pandemic.
Lopez said that the region can do more as ASCR Midterm Review has provided some insightful ideas on how to make the benefits of implementation more sustainable and far-reaching.
“More than providing access to services markets, it is imperative that we also provide a transparent and predictable regulatory environment to help services firms engage in the international market,” said Lopez at the virtual APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)-APSC Public-Private Dialogue.
With that, the
“I strongly believe that disciplines for the good governance of our services markets are essential to creating new trade opportunities for firms. This is particularly true for our MSMEs who are often burdened by uncertain and costly requirements and procedures,” he said as he commended the APEC Group on Services for its achievement in endorsing the “Statement Encouraging Completion of the WTO Services Domestic Regulation.”
He said that the strengthened resolve to implement and reinvigorate APEC’s services agenda will only demonstrate the region’s commitment to provide an enabling business environment for services firms. He likewise expressed confidence that APEC can still achieve a lot to implement the Services Roadmap until 2025.
He said the review on the implementation of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap will give implementors of this Roadmap an honest assessment in government, businesses, academia, and with industry experts to help build a more competitive services sector, one that will help chart a path to a resilient and inclusive economy.
He said the review as timely with economies reopening their businesses, reorganizing, and people are adapting. “We should set a clear direction for our services sectors in a post pandemic world.”
“The services sector plays an increasingly important role in the global economy as it generates opportunities for greater income, productivity, employment, investment and trade. In 2019, the sector accounted for 65 percent of global GDP,” said Lopez.
According to the APEC Policy Support Unit’s report, services constitute more than half of GDP in majority of the APEC economies. The APEC region has also established its significance to global trade with total global services exports valued at $2.4 trillion in 2019, representing more than a third of the world’s total services exports.
Recognizing these realities and the sector’s huge untapped potential, Lopez said the
Through the 2015 APEC Services Cooperation Framework or ASCF, the Roadmap was finalized in 2016 in