SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation

APEC members engage in economic and technical cooperation to facilitate the development and implementation of measures that promote trade, investment and sustainable growth, bridging gaps in their level of development and available resources.

The APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) coordinates and manages the APEC members' economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) agenda, which is outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda. In 1996, a Framework for Strengthening Economic Cooperation and Development was adopted to guide members in implementing the Osaka Action Agenda.

The objectives of the SCE are to

  • Support the implementation of APEC's ECOTECH activities by prioritizing work based on the commitments made by Leaders' and Ministers, and overseeing the work of APEC fora
  • Provide policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC's ECOTECH goals
  • Coordinate ECOTECH objectives and priorities between the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the APEC ministerial meetings

In 2010, Senior Officials endorsed a new Framework to Guide ECOTECH Activities for APEC-funded capacity building and other ECOTECH activities. This framework adopted a holistic approach by

  • Revising APEC ECOTECH priorities
  • Introducing a uniform set of criteria for all project funding, where funding is based on the link between proposals and APEC’s core objectives

Within this framework, the following medium-term ECOTECH priorities are established for the period of 2015–2019:

Cross-cutting priorities

  • Developing human capital through capacity building
  • Developing and strengthening the dynamism of SMEs
  • Harnessing technologies for the future and supporting innovation
  • Inclusive growth—addressing the social dimension of globalization, health, gender

Workstream priorities

  • Regional economic integration
  • Structural reform
  • Safeguarding the quality of life through sustainable growth
  • Human security

These medium-term priorities will be reviewed again in 2019.

The SCE was first established as the SOM Sub-Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation in 1998. In 2002, the sub-committee was elevated to the SOM Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation. In 2005, the ESC was strengthened and transformed into the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE).

In 2012, the SCE conducted an internal review of its working mechanisms and new terms of reference was endorsed and reconfirmed in 2016.

Under the SCE are seventeen sub-fora:

  1. Agriculture Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG)
  2. Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACWG)
  3. Counter-Terrorism Working Group (CTWG)
  4. Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG)
  5. Energy Working Group (EWG)
  6. Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT)
  7. Group of Friends on Disability (GoFD)
  8. Health Working Group (HWG)
  9. Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG)
  10. Mining Task Force (MTF)
  11. Policy Partnership for Food Security (PPFS)
  12. Policy Partnership for Science and Technology (PPSTI)
  13. Policy Partnership for Women and the Economy (PPWE)
  14. Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG)
  15. Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TLWG)
  16. Tourism Working Group (TWG)
  17. Transportation Working Group (TPTWG)

Last page update: September 2018

Current Activities

Development of a new system to assess SCE Fora

In 2018 the SCE developed a new standardized system to assess SCE fora. The first four fora assessed were the HRDWG, CTWG, EWG, and GoFD. The detailed standardized program assesses fora performance and governance as well as the performance and impact of the fora’s projects.    

The annual assessments of 2018 were conducted by an assessment team comprising the representatives from the preceding, current and next year’s SCE chairing economies—as well as any other volunteering economies and with assistance from the Secretariat. Assessments were based on the data and information produced through the standardized program for a group of SCE sub-fora, pursuant to their terms of reference and the decisions of the SCE.

The SCE endorsed a schedule and timeline for a full cycle of assessments of all fora by 2020 at the third meeting of that year (SCE3). Seven fora will be assessed in 2019, with the remaining five assessed in 2020.  The APEC Secretariat has engaged a contractor to complete the standardized assessments.

Promotion of cross-cutting agenda

The SCE and the APEC Secretariat have been facilitating cross-fora collaboration through the SCE Committee of the Whole (COW), through the Lead-Shepherds and Chairs’ Meeting, through a cross-cutting map of initiatives, and through identifying areas to create synergies for cooperation.

The SCE has continued to promote such collaborations. These efforts have seen a marked increase in the number of cross-cutting agendas across SCE fora and APEC Committees, such as:

  • Structural Reform and Gender (collaboration of EC and PPWE)
  • Compendium on Methodologies for SMEs Internationalization (Collaboration of CTI and SMEWG)
  • Food Security Symposium – which included the 2nd ACTWG, HLPDBT, OFWG, PPFS Meeting
  • Workshop on Promoting Regional Connectivity of Professionally Qualified Engineers in APEC (collaboration of GOS and HRDWG)
  • Healthy Women and Healthy Economies (PPWE and HRDWG)
  • Implementing the APEC Women in STEM Framework (PPWE and PPSTI)
  • The continued encouragement of cross-fora meetings and cross-fora participation

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SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation