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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, May 18, 2015
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APEC bizness leaders push
for open trade, investments

BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan -- Asia-Pacific business leaders are calling 21-member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation to adopt an open trade and investment regime in services in an effort to generate growth and more jobs in the region.

Doris Magsaysay Ho, APEC Business Advisory Council 2015 chair, said service-related sectors, particularly manufacturing, agriculture and environment, have potential power to spur inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The services sector is the single biggest creator of jobs in the region, accounting for 60 percent of employment. It has become the most dynamic segment of international trade,” she said during the Public-Private Dialogue on Services held here Sunday.

Ho noted that freer trade and investment in services offers business opportunities even to smaller companies, professionals and service providers who have focused more on domestic markets.

In the Philippines, Ho said services in business process management, creative services, tourism, ship repair and fabrication, among others, have become key drivers of the country's economic growth.

She also cited a report by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council indicating that the services sector now accounts for 68 percent of value-added in the Asia-Pacific region, making it the largest sector in the regional economy.

APEC member economies need to explore ways to seize new growth opportunities offered by the services sector, she also said.

The PPD is a prelude to the first Regional Conference of Services Coalitions and Service Industries at the margins of the Third APEC Senior Officials' Meeting in September in Cebu.

The PPD Series and the Regional Conference are organized in support of the proposed APEC Services Cooperation Framework, a Philippine initiative to guide APEC's collaborative work towards enhanced services competitiveness.*PNA


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