Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » APEC approaching 5% trade improvement target for 2011

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) said recently it has made a good start towards achieving its goal of improving the ease of doing business across the region by 25 percent by 2015.

“APEC has been working with member-economies to make it cheaper, faster and easier to do business in the region in five key areas: starting a business, getting credit, enforcing contracts, trading across borders and dealing with permits,” said Dr. Takashi Omori, chair of the APEC Economic Committee.

An assessment shows that APEC is making good progress toward the 5 percent interim improvement target by 2011. Its improvement in the five areas between 2009 and 2010 was 2.8 percent, exceeding a pro rata benchmark of 2.5 percent, the assessment says.

Although the assessment is good news, APEC must push ahead with assisting economies to carry out further regulatory reform to improve the environment for businesses, especially small- and medium-sized ones, trading around the region, Dr. Omori said.

“Although APEC is making good overall progress toward the interim target, achieving the 25 percent by 2015 will require considerably more work,” he said.

The Economic Committee and APEC’s independent research arm, the Policy Support Unit, conducted the interim assessment based on the World Bank’s Doing Indicators data.

The “APEC Economic Policy Report” to be published next year will assess APEC’s full-year 2011 progress using the recently released 2011 World Bank data.

APEC has carried out capacity-building projects, including workshops and seminars, to assist economies improve administrative procedures and undertake regulatory reforms in the five key areas. APEC is now implementing programs tailored to the improvement needs of individual economies, as part of efforts to meet the 2015 target.

The efforts are part of APEC’s wider strategy for structural reform that aims to achieve strong, balanced and inclusive economic growth in the region. APEC leaders last year endorsed the APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform that encourages improvements to institutional frameworks, regulations and government policies including those that promote open, well-functioning, transparent and competitive markets.

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