Foreign Minister Ampuero highlights the role of women as a priority issue for APEC 2019 in Chile
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, made a presentation today, within the framework of the XXIV Anniversary of the Chilean Pacific Foundation, where he addressed the main aspects of the Chilean foreign policy strategy for 2019, the year in which the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit will be held in our country, for the second time since Chile joined this multilateral organization in 1994.
The Minister stressed that the importance of APEC for the country's economy is indisputable. "Sixty-four percent of Chile's trade is with that region. About 70% of our exports and 60% of our imports come from APEC economies," he said.
In addition, he stated that the APEC summits are for Chile "a permanent commitment, which keeps us actively involved in the initiatives promoted by the forum, whose support for free trade constitutes a decisive reference for trade exchange at the global level". In that sense, he said that "the experience gained with the policy of opening up to the Asia-Pacific region and then with its participation in APEC, Chile has consolidated its foreign policy of open regionalism in trade matters".
Therefore, he said that the summit to be held in 2019 in our country will be the "most relevant event of the international agenda that will take place in our country in the coming years". In this regard, he said that "around 20,000 people will participate in the more than 200 different activities". He added that "we are working intensively on the thematic and logistical planning, which responds to the country's formal commitment made in September 2012, and which was included in the APEC Leaders' Declaration of 2013 during the first administration of President Sebastián Piñera".
The Minister informed that Chile will propose three priorities that will guide the work during the year that Chile will host APEC. One of them will be "digital service and economy", which will address the development of good regulatory practices, capacity building for an inclusive digital economy, improving statistical measurements in services and levels of consumer confidence in the use of digital tools, telework, and reaching new markets through the use of new technologies.
Another axis will be "regional connectivity", with the aim of generating a more fluid, dynamic and inclusive trade, promoting the development of a broad connectivity in all its dimensions, which will make it possible to respond to the new needs of the markets, and to promote a better insertion of SMEs in global value chains.
The third priority will be "women and economic growth", which for the first time will be one of the priorities in APEC and is in line with the Women's Agenda promoted by President Piñera. The aim is to increase the participation of women in the economy and in international trade as a source of economic growth and to reduce gender gaps. To this end, indicators will be created to improve the measurement of women linked to the external sector, training in digital tools and the creation of information platforms on existing programs in APEC economies to promote the participation of women in the economy.
Finally, the Secretary of State referred to the importance of the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration mechanism formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, in strengthening ties with Asia Pacific. "Chile seeks to project the Pacific Alliance to Asia, so we want the PA to join APEC as an observer partner. Chile will maintain an active role as promoter of all these initiatives," he said.