Good regulatory practices eliminates costs for business

Moscow, Russia, 12 February 2012
  • Issued by the APEC Regulatory Coherence Workshop

Regulatory coherence is important to achieving regional economic integration, especially as it relates to strengthening regional supply chains, agreed APEC regulatory officials this weekend in Moscow.

Officials gathered here on Saturday to share successful practices that have been used to improve their regulatory frameworks and how these reforms can cultivate open and competitive markets.

New Zealand’s APEC Senior Official, Clare Fearnley, said that domestic regulation policy often has an impact on trade and investment and these impacts should be identified and taken into account as part of the policy development process.

“Coherence between domestic and international policy goals can be achieved through good regulatory impact analysis,” said Fearnley who chaired the discussions.

 “Regulatory cooperation reflects the goal of reducing the regulatory barriers to trade and investment created by different laws in different countries through cooperation between economies,” she continued. “Regulatory coherence in this respect is between the laws and agencies of two or more economies.”

Regulatory coherence within the customs union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia was achieved after conducting consultations with the business community in each of those economies, and eventually at the highest levels of political leadership.

“Taking into consideration the interests of business, we introduced three categories of regulations for children’s’ products, food items and machinery that are traded across borders,” said Vladimir Salamatov, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry when he provided an example to participants. “Though it took a year to develop these regulations, the timeline was necessary in order to get critical inputs from the business community and ensure the sustainability of the system.” 

Regulatory cooperation has been an important area of focus for APEC because better regulation and better alignment of regulatory approaches can boost growth and deepen regional economic integration.

Last year in Honolulu, APEC Leaders endorsed a study which identified a wide variation of practices to assess regulatory impacts. Acting on this finding, member economies are cooperating with one another to close the gap.

“Improving regulatory development policies in the APEC region have the potential to significantly benefit all of the region’s economies,” said Clayton Harrington, Australia’s project manager for an APEC-funded project to enhance regulatory impact analysis in the region. “Training conducted over the course of the year will help eligible member economies improve the quality and efficiency of regulation development.”

“A workshop on regulatory impact analysis conducted at Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development last week for a range of federal and state officials, business and academia provided exposure to practical experiences in Australia, Mexico and New Zealand on tackling inefficient and costly cross-jurisdictional regulation through the implementation of deregulation priority reforms, competition reform and improved regulatory processes,” Harrington explained. “These workshops will be conducted across the region and the results will be reported to Ministers when they meet in Vladivostok in September.” 

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