The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, arrived in Papua New Guinea to participate in the Joint Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). The annual summit of APEC leaders will take place on Saturday and Sunday and will be attended by the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera.
As host country, the motto chosen by Papua New Guinea for APEC has been "Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future", through which they have emphasized the themes of inclusive growth, connectivity and digital economy.
After his arrival, the Minister highlighted Chile's participation in APEC. "We are part of this Forum, that in the first place is very important, because there are established guidelines for economic and commercial integration among the 21 countries that represent an important part of the world economy. It's a world that Chile is very interested in," he said.
In that sense, the Minister pointed out that more than 60% of world GDP is within APEC and that close to 60% of investments in Chile come from APEC countries. In addition, 28% of Chilean investments are in countries belonging to this Forum.
He also highlighted the role of the Forum in a context in which protectionist voices are being heard around the world. "APEC underscores the interest in developing free trade, deepening it and further developing the integration of this Asia-Pacific area where Chile is part of that area," he said.
"Chile also speaks clearly to its friends and underlines in this case that due to its development in recent decades, which is based on the use of the free market and which has allowed it to accomplish what it has achieved in terms of the fight against poverty in terms of modernization, of integration into the world, we think that free trade is the way the world should travel because it brings benefits for all," he added.
The Chancellor also recalled that on 2019 Chile is going to be the organizer of this summit, which will allow "positioning the country in an international, global showcase". In this regard, he highlighted that "we are going to place one of the accents next year on the empowerment of women in the economy, in positions where decisions are made within companies".
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) is the main forum to promote growth, technical and economic cooperation, trade facilitation and liberalization, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
It was created in 1989, at the behest of Australia and Japan, to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community. It has 21 members. These are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States and Vietnam.
Chile joined APEC in 1994 and has since been actively involved in promoting free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific region. Within the APEC framework, Chile has signed 16 trade agreements, of which 15 are already in force: Australia; Canada; China; South Korea; USA; Hong Kong-China; Japan; Malaysia; Mexico; Peru; P4 (New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore); Thailand; and Vietnam. In December 2017 an agreement was signed with Indonesia, which this year entered Congress for approval.