Canada is contributing CAD1.2 million to promote the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) work on inclusive and sustainable trade and investment, which contributes to poverty reduction in developing member economies.
The contribution is part of Canada’s Strengthening Collaborative Actions, Leadership, and Enterprise Development (SCALED) project and will be allocated to APEC’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and marine debris management and innovation sub-funds, which are managed by the APEC Project Management Unit.
The project was announced by Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng at the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Detroit last week.
A grant agreement was signed earlier by Weldon Epp, Canada’s Senior Official for APEC, and Dr Rebecca Sta Maria, the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. The funds are available for immediate use.
“It is imperative for us to ensure that traditional trade is more inclusive and accessible to all people and all businesses of different sizes,” said Epp. “We also know that advancing sustainability in trade policy is critical for future generations and in fighting climate change. APEC provides a great platform for us to collaboratively pursue these goals together.”
The fund will be allocated to boost APEC’s efforts in capacity-building initiatives, especially in advancing the region’s MSMEs to participate in cross-border business and trade.
The fund will also be available for projects that focus on reducing marine debris in APEC and contribute to green growth and sustainable development.
Projects like this help translate the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers into actions and help create tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC provides funding for over 100 projects each year, with around USD 24.4 million available in 2023.
“Coming from Detroit just after the conclusion of our Trade Ministers’ Meeting, we heard how member economies are prioritizing the work in making trade more inclusive and sustainable,” said Dr. Sta Maria.
“This means that we need to strengthen international cooperation so that the current trade environment leaves no one behind and ensures that women, youth and other groups with untapped economic potential can participate and thrive,” Dr Sta Maria added.
“Today’s announcement is an important step in Canada’s efforts to advance inclusive and sustainable economic growth within APEC. Support to these sub-funds will strengthen small businesses’ ability to engage in the global economy and support regional efforts to combat marine debris,” Minister Ng said.