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Media Release : 21st APEC Ministers Responsible For Trade (MRT) Meeting, Boracay, 23 – 24 May 2015


  • APEC Ministers met in Boracay Island, Philippines from 23-24 May 2015.


  • APEC Trade Ministers unanimously reiterated APEC’s continuous support for the WTO and multilateral trading system, as well as the conclusion of the Doha Round.
  • In the build-up to the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC10) in Nairobi in December, all APEC economies agreed with the WTO Director-General’s approach for WTO members to intensify efforts towards implementation of the Bali package and the development of the post-Bali work programme to conclude outstanding issues of the DDA.
  • Malaysia, similar to all APEC members, stressed on the need for all WTO members to ratify the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by MC10 to enable the Agreement to be implemented as soon as  possible. Malaysia will deposit the Instrument of Acceptance to the WTO in the next couple of weeks.
  • TFA aims to streamline trade by cutting “red tape” and simplifying customs procedures. It contains special provisions for developing countries to help them implement the Agreement. Benefits to the world economy are estimated to be between US$ 400 billion and US$ 1 trillion in terms of cost-saving for businesses.
  • Malaysia further highlighted the need to quickly conclude and put a closure to the negotiations on the expansion of Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The current negotiations were initiated in June 2012 and cover approximately 200 ICT products. This can also be a key deliverable of MC10.
  • Malaysia also fully supports the call for economies to firmly resist any protectionist measures and to refrain from raising more barriers to international trade, through the end of 2018 as decided in Qingdao last year.



  • APEC’s work in enhancing regional economic integration (REI) is progressing well with key deliverables expected on implementation of the “Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP)” and connectivity agenda.
  • On FTAAP, APEC Trade Ministers endorsed the terms of reference (TOR) of the collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of the FTAAP, and welcomed progress of work in the information sharing and capacity building area.
  • Malaysia welcomed the endorsement of the TOR of the FTAAP’s Collective Strategic Study, and expressed its support for the ongoing work led jointly by China and the US in undertaking the study. Malaysia will be participating actively in the study to ensure our strategic interests are taken on board.
  • Malaysia welcomes Japan’s proposal on “Quality Infrastructure Investment” to provide Asia with innovative infrastructure financing at a scale of US$ 110 billion in 5 years. This will complement the existing efforts undertaken by the Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Malaysian companies would be able to capitalise on these additional sources of funding.



  • APEC Ministers endorsed the ‘Boracay Action Agenda to Globalise SMEs.
  • Malaysiastrongly supports the ‘Boracay Action Agenda to Globalise SMEs’ and would like to see the SME agenda to be elevated in the high-priority list so that APEC would be seen as championing inclusive growth and SME competitiveness in particular promoting micro and small enterprises.
  • Specific actions that have been identified under the Boracay Action Agenda will focus on areas such as facilitation, simplification and transparency of rules and customs procedures, widening options on financing for SMEs, and expanding internationalisation opportunities for SMEs providing goods and services through ICT and e-commerce.
  • Various liberalisation measures are currently being undertaken by APEC economies including Malaysia. On the initiative to foster SMEs to go global, Malaysia will be hosting the ASEAN SME Showcase from 26 to 28 May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur. This event will provide the platform for SMEs to explore regional opportunities and beyond. To date, more than 500 exhibitors have registered their participation.
  • Another important agenda under the Boracay Action Agenda is the integration of SMEs into the global value chain. Under the GVC-SME work stream, Malaysia is working with the Philippines to integrate SMEs in the automotive sector.
  • As a common goal towards 2020, APEC will work to identify indicators to track the region’s progress and the progress of individual member’s and seek future actions to enable SMEs in the region to ‘go global’.



  • APEC Trade Ministers met with 15 CEOs of multinational companies and they shared their views on how to foster SMEs’ integration into the regional and global markets.
  • Among the policy recommendations highlighted during the session were the importance of knowledge transfer, innovation, removing trade and investment related barriers, and improving SMEs’ access to financing.
  • The CEOs highlighted to Ministers the urgency for them to ratify the WTO TFA and move up in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings by reducing obstacles to trade and investment.
  • Among the 15 CEOs present at the session was Mr. Sharan J. Valiram from Valiram who shared his experience in leading his company to build the business as Asia’s leading high-end retail which operate in 10 countries including Malaysia.



Ministry of International Trade and Industry
24 May 2015
Boracay, Philippines

Last Updated 2019-10-29 15:52:50 by Fauziah Osman

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