August 21st, 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam – SOM3 and Related Meetings continued its fourth day with 12 meetings of the Health Working Group (HWG), Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF), Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACTWG), Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG), Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) – Data Privacy Subgroup (ECSG – DPS), Investment Experts’ Group (IEG), Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), Market Access Group (MAG), Automotive Dialogue (AD) and Chemical Dialogue (CD).
Building on long-standing recognition of the critical role that regulatory systems play in enabling life sciences innovation, the LSIF today held the High-level Dialogue on Innovation, Regulatory Systems, and Regulatory Convergence. There were about 150 participants representing international organizations, governmental agencies, business community, and academia from APEC economies. Vice – Minister of Health of Viet Nam, H.E Truong Quoc Cuong attended the meeting and delivered a keynote speech. At the Dialogue, participants exchanged views on the reform of drug review and approval; the promotion of innovation by participating in harmonization of international standards and rules; the role of LSIF and regulators, industry in facilitating regulatory convergence in support of accelerating life sciences innovation and making innovative medical products available.
In its first day of meeting, the EPWG presided its 12th plenary session. Participants in the meeting were briefed on the preliminary report of the 11th plenary session. They then discussed the deliverables of the Project of Enhancing Rural Disaster Resilience through Effective Infrastructure Investment as well as measures to implement effectively the APEC Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Framework. Adopted in 2015, the DRR Framework aims to contribute to adaptive and disaster-resilient Asia-Pacific economies that can support inclusive and sustainable development in the face of increasing natural disasters. This Framework cuts across all areas of the APEC agenda, including agriculture; forestry; fisheries; trade and investments; energy; micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); infrastructure development; critical infrastructure resiliency; financial resiliency; health; gender; food security; science and technology; ecological integrity….
Today, the Health Working Group (HWG) held its plenary session to review and assess ongoing projects, including the Workshop on the Monitoring of Universal Health Coverage Progress in APEC region: “Toward healthy Asia-Pacific 2020”; A-TRACTION (Asian Tuberculosis Research and Clinical Trials Integrated Organizational Network); Building Capacity in Infection Control and Outbreak Containment to Novel Pathogens in Healthcare Settings; International Workshop on Adaptation to Aging Population; and APEC Conference on Severe Dengue Prevention and Strategies for Reducing Disease Burden. The HWG will convene a series of meetings and activities tomorrow in preparation for the High-level Meeting on Health and the Economy on 23rd August.
Also on the same day, the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) began its first working day with the Workshop on Enhancing Regulator Expertise on the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The workshop focused on issues related to regulators, such as: regulatory quality, application of good regulatory practices (GPRs), regulatory cooperation and conformity assessment. These are member economies’ commitments under their individual action plans in order to implement the Renewed APEC Agenda on Structure Reform (RAASR). Through this workshop, delegates can identify tools and best practices to develop, adopt, and implement necessary and effective regulations; consider the best approaches for regulatory cooperation; analyze methods for conducting regulatory impact assessment; determine when to conduct such analysis; and explore WTO’s new regulations on technical barriers to trade.
On the second working day the EGILAT, the delegates focus their discussions on the economies’ needs for capacity building in the fight against iillegal logging and associated trade as well as on the cooperation between EGILAT and the SCCP and the ACTWG. Moreover, the Group was also updated on the implementation of ongoing projects, elected a new chairman, and set out objective and action plans for the EGILAT in 2018.
The Chemical Dialogue Group (CD) held the Regulators’ Forum. The Chemical Dialogue plays an important role in strengthening the connection and cooperation between APEC’s member economies and entrepreneurs in safe chemical substance management to find solutions to chemical industry in the Asia – Pacific region. The Dialogue Group will continue tomorrow with the workshop on Sharing Best Practices in Chemicals Regulation.
As the continuation of the first day on 20th August, the ECSG – DPS kept on discussing about Cross Border Privacy Rules System (CBPR) and Cross Border Privacy Enforcement Arrangement (CPEA). Besides, reports on the progress of member economies in information privacy were presented. Delegates also discussed next steps for the Sub-Group.
The MAG also convened their first meeting. Supporting the multilateral trading system and regional economic integration were high on the agenda. The issues of strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development were also discussed.
Together with the MAG, the IEG started its series of meetings. The IEG was established to promote transparency of investment regimes, facilitate investment activities and investment liberalization in the region as well as encourage and facilitate free and open investment in the region.
The ACTWG had its coordination meeting with international organizations, while the AD and the SCCP concluded their final sessions today.