MANILA Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — Ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) attached importance to inclusive growth and emphasized service sector’s role in driving economic growth in the region.
In his opening remark at the APEC Ministerial Meeting, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario said this year’s APEC highlighted inclusive growth as “the heart of economic integration.”
He added that they are “expanding APEC’s trade and investment goals to include a development dimension.”
For his part, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo also addressed at the same occasion that the ministers worked closely on the clear objective of building strong, sustainable and inclusive economies.
Domingo also called for acceleration of international policy cooperation and coordination so as to provide a strong push to stimulate economic growth, given the backdrop that the regional economies are facing many threats.
At the same time, Rosario also stressed the role of services as a major drive of regional economy, citing that services make up about 67 percent of gross domestic product in the APEC region.
Earlier the day, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat Alan Bollard said that the integration between manufacturing and services would have a big influence on regional economic growth, saying that non-tariff barriers such as regulation on moving capital, people, and data are major concerns blocking the boost of services.
The theme of the APEC 2015 is “building inclusive economies, building a better world.” The ministerial meeting is held prior to APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting which will be kicked off from Wednesday to Thursday.