APEC Begins Brainstorming Sessions

Officials and experts from the Asia-Pacific region started discussions on Saturday on such topics as market access, investment, good regulatory practices and economic infrastructure.

The meetings are part of the Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM II) of the 13th Asia-Pacific Economic and Co-operation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.

Various committees and forums will discuss APEC's work in Shenzhen until Thursday.

On June 1-3, senior officials from the 21 APEC members will also gather in Shenzhen to continue their discussions on trade and investment liberalization, regional macro policy, and economic and trade co-operation.

The first senior officials' meeting was held in February in Beijing. The second meeting, which is being presided over by Wang Guangya, China's vice-foreign minister, aims to make preparations for the ninth APEC informal leadership meeting and the 13th ministerial meeting, to be held later this year in Shanghai.

The meeting will also involve a retreat on June 1 to exchange views on issues such as how APEC can contribute to the early launch of a new round of World Trade Organization negotiations.

This year, China plays host to a number of APEC-related conferences and meetings.

As one of the key economic forums in the region, APEC has established a working mechanism which includes a range of official meetings.

"The theme of APEC this year is to meet new challenges in the new century and achieve common prosperity through participation and co-operation," said top Chinese delegate Zhao Linhua.

One SOM sub-committee, the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC), was established in 1993 in order to help APEC economies adopt new standards, harmonize regulations and achieve mutual supervision, according to Zhao.

Since then, the SCSC has achieved a series of arrangements on food quality verification, the exchange of toy safety information and the mutual recognition of electricity and electrical products, he said.

China's State General Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine became a member of the SCSC in 1994, according to Zhao.

At Saturday's SCSC seminar, 63 participants from 19 APEC members talked about ways to promote good regulatory practices in such sectors as building and fire safety.

(China Daily 05/28/2001)

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