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ECOTECH Initiatives Confirm APEC Commitment

Hon Lockwood Smith
New Zealand Minister for International Trade
Chair, APEC Ministerial Meeting

APEC Ministers have approved initiatives to help APEC improve the effectiveness of its economic and technical assistance to developing economies, according to Lockwood Smith, Chair of the APEC Ministerial Meeting and New Zealand¡¦s Minister for International Trade.
"These initiatives demonstrate APEC¡¦s commitment to assisting its developing member economies," Dr Smith said.
"Ministers recognise that whilst work to advance trade liberalisation and facilitation is important, it¡¦s equally important to assist economies to build their human and institutional capacity so they can fully participate in a free and open regional trade environment.
Dr Smith said that the initiatives would provide a clearer focus for APEC¡¦s important Ecotech work.
"Ministers approved the development of a ¡¥Clearing House¡¦ to improve co-ordination of APEC¡¦s Ecotech work through enhancing information flows, prioritising economies¡¦ needs and identifying APEC¡¦s ability to meet them," Dr Smith said.
"Ministers also endorsed the Ecotech Weightings Matrix, which will enable APEC to better prioritise projects and deliver more effective ways to meet the needs of developing economies," Dr Smith concluded.
More than 250 co-operative Ecotech projects have been undertaken or completed this year. They include:
„h Development of a Y2K assessment kit, so APEC economies are able to gauge their preparedness for 2000;
„h Creation of initiatives to help women entrepreneurs play a bigger role in economic policy;
„h Sharing best practices to build educational and labour market capability for indigenous peoples.
ENDS
Inquiries Ben King, Press Secretary 025-514-790 (c)


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