Senior officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies concluded the First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Saturday, after deliberating on several key topics for the agenda this year.
Hairil Yahri Yaacob, an official from Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry who chaired the meeting, said delegates held robust discussions in the key areas of trade, economic inclusivity and sustainability.
He added that detailed discussions on the development of the APEC Post-2020 Vision in preparation for the maturity of Bogor Goals at the end of this year, laying the foundation for the grouping's future direction.
"The importance of these SOM1 and related meetings is for us to ensure that all the working groups, all the working committees, all the forums and sub-forums completely, totally understand what are the themes, what are the priority areas, what are the deliverables that we want to achieve throughout 2020.
"All the senior officials are happy with the progress, with the work plan and they believe that all this work plan will be achieved throughout this year," he told a press conference after the meeting concluded.
Executive director of the APEC Secretariat Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria said meetings were successful, with participating officials having achieved consensus on the present discussions, with valuable feedback being gathered.
As the first cluster of APEC 2020 meetings, the First Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM1) and Related Meetings included a total of 102 meetings, workshops, field trips and various related activities held this month, Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
One of APEC's flagship initiatives, the Bogor Goals were announced in 1994 for members to move towards the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific no later than the year 2020.