APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting begins discussions on environment-friendly development

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

The APEC Japan 2010 Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) I opened at a hotel in Hiroshima on February 22. For the first time in 15 years, this year's APEC is being chaired by Japan. The participants of SOM I engaged in discussions on various issues including environment-friendly economic development to lay the groundwork for the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held in Yokohama in November.

Following the two-day talks of SOM I, there will be related working-level meetings through March 7. Roughly 1,000 government officials in the fields of economics and foreign affairs from 21 member economies will take part in these meetings.

The first day meeting was attended by 24 vice-ministerial and director-general level officials from 21 economies. They all shared the recognition that the poorest segments of the population in developing economies and other areas have been significantly impacted by the financial crisis which started in the fall of 2008.

Japan, the meeting's chair, suggested the need for an economic strategy which utilizes energy-saving technology for the purpose of sustainable development and the expansion of employment. All the member economies agreed to pursue their discussions in the direction of promoting both environmental protection and technological advancement.

The participants also defined the current status and problems involved in realizing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). With regard to assistance for developing economies, they confirmed the policy of clarifying screening criteria for the provision of economic and technical cooperation.

Related committee and task-force meetings will be held at the same hotel and at the International Conference Center Hiroshima through March 7. Each meeting will be organized on a particular topic, such as automobiles, electronic business transactions, and tariffs.


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
APEC consists of 21 economies in the Pacific Rim Region such as Japan, Southeast Asian countries, the United States, China and Russia. The first meeting was held in Australia in 1989 to discuss sustainable economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. The summit meeting started in 1993. Government officials from each economy discuss regional economic integration and cooperation in a series of meetings.

(Originally published on February 23, 2010)