Ministers and representatives from 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies on Thursday called for strengthening of economic and technical cooperation.
"Economic and technical cooperation remains a vital pillar of APEC," said a joint statement released in the wake of the two-day ministerial meeting which closed Thursday.
The APEC ministers commended work to revitalize the Senior Official Meeting's Steering Committee on economic and technical policy agenda and encouraged the committee's continued strategic guidance to APEC's economic and technical capacity building activities, said the statement.
It said the ministers endorsed the establishment of working groups on mining, trade promotion and human resources.
The ministers also endorsed the efforts by officials to develop greater collaboration with other international organizations on research and policy analysis, said the statement.
The ministers conveyed the support to the voluntary financial contribution of member economies to facilitate APEC's capacity building efforts and recognized that the digital capability of APEC member economies is crucial in advancing the group's work and the equitable development, according to the statement.
They recognized that healthy ocean and coastal environment play a crucial role in the prosperity of the region, said the statement adding that thus, the ministers welcomed the past efforts made to address marine pollution, illegal fishing, over capacity and adaptation to climate change.
"We (the ministers) look forward to future work that will help to conserve marine and coastal resources, including the safeguarding of coral reefs," said the statement.
They also expressed support to the deepening of work on human resources development, recognizing that the APEC workforce should be equipped with the 21st century skills to adapt more quickly to a more open and competitive marketplace, it said.
The ministerial meeting was convened in preparation for the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting scheduled here on Sept. 8-9, and the ministers will submit their recommendations and outcomes of meeting to the leaders for approval.