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China Contributes To Initiatives Advancing Free Trade And Economic Growth

China has contributed USD 1.42 million in funding to promote APEC cooperation including advancing trade and investment initiatives, particularly for efforts to advance free trade, promote global value chains’ development and cooperation, enhance regional connectivity and promote innovative development, economic reform and growth.

The contribution was confirmed in a memorandum of understanding signed virtually by Lu Mei, China’s APEC Senior Official, and Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, on the margins of the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting.

“China is committed to strengthening APEC cooperation, especially at these unprecedented times as our region faces the challenges of COVID-19,” said Lu. “We hope our contribution could not only promote APEC initiatives and projects in relevant areas, but also support member economies in their endeavor to combat COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery.”

Of the total contribution, USD 420,000 will be directed to support initiatives that contribute to the eventual realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), accelerating at the border trade liberalization and facilitation efforts, improving the business environment behind the border, and enhancing regional connectivity across the border.

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Around USD 500,000 of the contribution will be directed to support APEC activities in reaching a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia-Pacific through the pillars of physical connectivity, institutional connectivity and people-to-people connectivity, including resolving infrastructure financing bottlenecks, structural and regulatory reforms, transport and logistics and facilitating the movement of people across borders.

USD 500,000 of the remaining funds from China’s contribution will go to the economic reform and growth sub-fund. An additional contribution of USD 200,000 was also made to support the APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC’s research and analysis arm.

“Trade and investment is APEC’s reason for being,” said Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, Executive Director of APEC Secretariat. “Support for capacity building initiatives focused on advancing free trade and enhancing global value chains will help APEC’s effort to revive economic growth and rebuild better.”

APEC projects are important for taking forward the policy direction set by APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers creating tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum provides funding for over 100 projects each year, with around USD 16.5 million available in 2020.

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