APEC Makes Significant Ecotech Progress,
Says Medhi Krongkaew

The member economies of the Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) forum have made significant progress so far this year in economic and technical cooperation (Ecotech), said Medhi Krongkaew, chair of the APEC Ecotech Subcommittee (ESC), on Thursday.

As many as 16 of the 21 APEC member economies have been able to submit a total of 148 Ecotech projects to the 13th Ministerial Meeting for endorsement, Medhi said at a press conference.

These projects focuses mainly on training, skill development and information sharing, he said. Of the projects, some 48 percent deal with information sharing, 28 percent are on information gathering, and 19 percent are related to training, according to a report prepared for the ministers to adopt. "APEC's recognition of economic and technical cooperation has been lifted this year, putting it on a par with its trade and investment liberalization and facilitation focus," the ESC chair said. The ESC mainly concentrates on developing human capital, developing stable, safe and efficient capital markets, strengthening economic infrastructure, harnessing technologies for the future, promoting environmentally sustainable development and encouraging the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Medhi said he was pleased that for the first time in APEC history, members agreed this year to prepare Ecotech Action Plans.

"This development will help track individual and collective efforts by each member economy in the advancement of APEC's human resources development objectives," he said.

Another major accomplishment this year was the updating of Part II of the 1995 Osaka Action Agenda, which spells out the essential elements for Ecotech: common policy concepts, joint activities and policy dialog, said Medhi.

"The 2001 update ensures that the Osaka Action Agenda is perpetuated as a living document that provides a clear road map for activities that shape policy dialog and projects," he said.

(People's Daily 10/18/2001)

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