August 19th, 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – SOM 3 and Related Meetings continued its second day with activities from the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), Automotive Dialogue (AD), Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), Transportation Working Group (TPTWG), Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG), Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) and Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACTWG).
The SCCP officially entered the plenary session today. Building on the success of the first SCCP meeting this February in Nha Trang, the meeting provided updates on the WCO Mercator Program and WTO-ATF implementation. The meeting also considered the possibility of implementing single-window system in APEC, and agreed on continuing to complete individual single-window system as well as putting more efforts to consider the possibility of connecting this system between member economies. Another issue on the agenda was the completion of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) in member economies. In addition, APEC members highlighted the effort of cooperating and signing agreements of mutual recognition to boost favorable conditions for import-export activities of enterprises.
On the second day of the CTWG meeting group, delegates exchanged views on regional threats and economies’ counter-terrorism responses and measures taken. The meeting also discussed counter-terrorism activities in other international fora, including the United Nations and the Financial Action Task Force… Delegates also listened to the updated report from INTERPOL on counter-terrorism activities.
In the Pathfinder Dialogue on Strengthening the Fight against Illicit Trade and Corruption of the ACTWG, delegates discussed on corruption as a driver of illegal logging and combatting corruption in the forest products trade in customs environment. The dialogue will continue to take place tomorrow, where delegates will explore ways to prevent wildlife trafficking.
Also related to anti-corruption, the ACT-NET organized the 4th APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies. The main topic of discussion was anti-money laundering and asset recovery; international cooperation in bribery cases; and repatriation of fugitives and informal international cooperation.
The Automobile Dialogue Group also held Workshop on Implementing the APEC Electric Vehicles Roadmap. Electric vehicle is an indispensable part in the transition process among APEC economies to reduce the amount of fossil fuels. The APEC roadmap for Electric Vehicles was endorsed in 2015 with the aim to facilitate the adoption and implementation of international standards pertaining to electric vehicles.
The CTI held FTA Negotiation Skills on Competition Workshop to provide in-depth capacity building for negotiators and policymakers in the APEC region to participate in negotiations on competition area. Participants shared the historical developments of the texts in competition chapter under RTAs/FTAs, share best practices and experiences in preparing for negotiations; and explore possible implications in negotiations on competition. The Workshop is an activity under the Action Plan Framework for Regional Economic Integration (REI) Capacity Building Needs Initiative (CBNI) initiated since 2010.
Simultaneously, CTI also hosted Workshop on Capacity Building for Quality Infrastructure Investment in Rapidly Urbanizing APEC Region. As a follow up of the “APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015 – 2025”, in this workshop, policy recommendations were developed in order to tackle challenges to implement quality infrastructure development. Discussions on how quality infrastructure investment will contribute to sustainable urban development were also carried out.
The SCSC organized the 10th Conference on Good Regulatory Practices. For nearly two decades, APEC has been at the forefront of international discussions on the importance of good regulatory practice (GRP) to trade and investment. During the two-day event, the conference will focus on the result of the 2016 Update on GRPs in APEC economies and consider the implementation of WTO obligations related to notifications and practices that can facilitate such notifications.
The Regulatory Harmonization Steering Committee (LSIF – HRSC), Workshop on Promoting Policies, Regulation and Flexibility to Improve Resilience of Supply Chain (TPTWG), Workshop on Facilitating Trade in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Products through Encouragement of Electronic Labeling Best Practices (SCSC), Workshop on Customs Best Practices to Identify Illegal Timber and Wood Products (EGILAT) marked a successful second working day of SOM3.