Regional connectivity to top APEC 2013 agendas

2013-02-08 05:47:00 GMT2013-02-08 13:47:00(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JAKARTA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forums in Bali this year would put a priority on the promotion of regional connectivity, Antara news wire quoting official reported here on Friday.

Chair of the APEC Senior Officials' Meeting, Ambassador Yuri Thamrin, said that the connection and possible connection among the member countries will accelerate economic growth, already evident within the group.

"Actions taken in 2013, APEC will improve its quality of growth and strengthen regional economic integration by connecting the region's growth centres," Thamrin said.

A senior official meeting has been conducted for the first time this year to discuss the outcomes and proposals submitted ahead of the Leaders Meeting later this year.

During the meeting, it was identified that the installation and maintenance of infrastructure was one of the main factors that would play a significant role in regional connectivity.

The ambassador has indicated that this will: "strengthen the connectivity of our region, including by putting infrastructure and investment on the APEC agenda."

The appropriate framework, robust financial markets and the management of risk have all been flagged as potential barriers stopping the eventuation of the agenda.

On infrastructure, one of the agendas to build will be a mechanism to provide aid and support for member countries affected by catastrophes.

Plans have been made to set up an emergency response travel card to allow for rapid response by other member economies to the disaster region in order to help alleviate local infrastructure recovery efforts.

"The project will seek a way to rapidly deploy assistance personnel and sup plies to rehabilitate the supply chain, facilitate economic recovery and save lives in the immediate aftermath of disaster," said Thamrin.

Two other senior official meetings will be held in Surabaya of East Java in April and one in Medan of North Sumatra in July, before the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bali in October.

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