APEC URGED TO SET STRUCTURAL REFORM AGENDA
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies should act decisively so the next structural reform agenda facilitates regional recovery and resilience against crises and shocks and not solely tackling challenging tasks, APEC Policy Support Unit’s new report said.
Antara news agency reported that the final review of the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR), an APEC Economic Committee initiative, was conducted by the APEC Policy Support Unit to assess member economies’ progress in efforts to conduct structural reforms and to look for gaps that can be worked on in future.
"Structural reforms eliminate structural barriers to improve access to economic opportunities and can also help economies to attain a higher growth trajectory," Director of the APEC Policy Support Unit Denis Hew said.
"In times of economic uncertainty, policymakers often resort to structural reform to support recovery and boost growth," he added. "It is extremely relevant and important today, given that governments in the region are battling both a health and economic crisis.”
APEC’s structural reform agenda is based on three pillars: first, developing more open, well-functioning, transparent, and competitive markets; second, intensifying the participation of all segments of society; and third, establishing sustainable social policies.
"To conduct a review on structural reform, we analyze the indicators agreed upon by economies, ranging from ease of doing business, access to basic services and infrastructure, labor productivity and participation rate to business innovation, youth unemployment, and digital infrastructure," Andre Wirjo, analyst of the APEC Policy Support Unit, concurrently co-author of the report, expounded.
The final review indicated that APEC had performed well in the areas of innovation and productivity across various metrics, including labor productivity per individual employed.
However, additional efforts are mandated to enhance university-industry collaboration in research and development, among others.