Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Officials from the 21 APEC member economies discussed ways to avoid duplication and overlap of APEC-funded projects at a meeting on Saturday in HCM City.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Victor Munoz of Peru, the chairman of the Budget and Management Committee meeting, said: “The major issues discussed at the meeting were related to budget constrains, availability of funding and human capacity, among others.”
He told Việt Nam News: “We are in the middle of governance and reform process. Some of the issues being considered in this process refer to the efficiency of APEC-funded projects.
“There are currently too many duplicated projects proposed by both developing and more developed economies.”
For instance, there is deep interest among members in the fields of connectivity, e-commerce and digital economy, he said. Most of them proposed digital economy-related projects and most are duplicated, he said.
The committee is currently examining ways to avoid duplication and overlap, he said.
The committee would work together to come up with a proposal to adjust the functioning of the working groups and sub-groups with respect to duplicated projects, and it would be presented next year at the Senior Official Meetings (SOM) 1 next January in Papua New Guinea, he added.
At the session delegates discussed ways to strengthen the focus of APEC-funded projects in capacity building in line with the bloc’s policy on capacity building through economic and technical co-operation.
They also exchanged working plans for 2017, focusing on trade, investment and budget management-related activities under the agenda of liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment.
Projects are an essential part of the APEC process, helping translate the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers into actions and creating “tangible benefits” for people living in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the committee.
APEC provides funding for around 100 projects each year, with more than US$9.5 million available in 2015.
They typically include workshops, publications and research, which are open to participation for all 21 members.
The projects are also in public and government sectors in member economies, and external stakeholder engagement is encouraged.
Most APEC projects are focused on promoting regional economic integration, economic and technical co-operation, enhancing human security and facilitating a favourable and sustainable business environment.
Each year APEC defines its key policy priorities. The annual priorities help determine which APEC projects are selected for funding. — VNS