GENEVA – Following its first meeting on 17 February 2015, as well as three succeeding technical-level meetings to draft the statement supporting the multilateral trading system for the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Boracay in May 2015, Philippine Permanent Representative to the WTO, Ambassador Esteban B. Conejos, Jr., convened the second Heads of Delegation (HoD) meeting of the APEC Geneva Caucus (AGC) on 11 May 2015 at the Centre William Rappard.
In attendance were Permanent Representatives of the 21 APEC Economies, as well as Geneva-based officers who participated in the three previous technical-level meetings. Ambassador Conejos’ chairmanship of the meeting allowed the representatives of the 21 APEC Economies to diligently discuss and negotiate on the elements of the draft statement supporting the multilateral trading system.
The draft statement includes paragraphs reaffirming the value, centrality and primacy of the multilateral trading system under the auspices of the WTO, as well as highlights the progress of the work in various WTO standing bodies. It also mentions the progress made by the WTO towards the full implementation of the Bali Package, and the commitment to contribute to the achievement of concrete and meaningful outcomes at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Nairobi in December 2015.
Although a few issues remain in the said draft, the Heads of Delegation agreed that it can be endorsed to their respective APEC Senior Officials and Trade Ministers in Boracay for further review and finalization.
Ambassador Conejos noted that the Philippines' chairmanship of the Caucus is part of overall efforts demonstrating the Philippines' enduring commitment to APEC and its avowed objectives. He added that Members have engaged in a positive and constructive spirit, generating momentum for concrete and meaningful outcomes in Boracay, and subsequently in Manila when the Philippines hosts the APEC Leaders' Week in November. END.