DDG Emmanuel F. Esguerra
APEC Group on Services Convenor and
Senior Official of the PH Delegation to the 3rd SOM

25 August 2015, 9:00 AM
Cebu City, Philippines

Colleagues, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. We are delighted to have you all back here in the Philippines, in the second and final meeting for 2015 of the Group on Services. Thank you for coming and welcome to Cebu.

We would also like to welcome Ms. Asmidar Abdul Rahman, the new GOS Programme Director, who assumed her post on July 31 of this year.

Also, our sincerest appreciation goes to the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and the Policy Support Unit (PSU), for their attendance and inputs not only to GOS but to the whole of APEC for 2015.

It is such a pleasure to gather again today and continue the work and the initiatives we started in Clark last February. Let me note that while this is only the second meeting of the GOS this year, substantial development in the area of services has transpired intersessionally during this year’s hosting. Our engagement with colleagues in other sub-committees, working groups, and committees generated much support for several of our initiatives, which only shows just how valuable our work is.

Importantly, our initiatives have led to services being given priority in the forthcoming 2nd Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting (SRMM) to be held on September 7-8, 2015 here in Cebu City.

In our one-day meeting, let us keep in mind that special focus is given to trade in services under this year’s regional economic integration agenda. Thus, we will continue our work on increasing the transparency of related regulations in services trade, facilitating cross-border services trade and investments, and fostering the development of open services markets. We will also be pleased to hear updates or reports from various economies on their ongoing initiatives, as well as developments on the proposals made during GOS1 (first meeting of GOS).

I am confident that our work, these new initiatives, and what we have achieved thus far have significantly moved the regional economic integration agenda and the Bogor goals forward. The strong support we are getting from the private sector, through their active participation in Public-Private Dialogues on Services held in the margins of the First and Second Senior Officials Meetings, further reinforces this optimism. Definitely, all these collaborations among economies, across APEC fora, and with the private sector, are creating wider pathways for opportunities to flow throughout the APEC region and to our people.

We have acknowledged in our first meeting that our collective goal to have a free and open trade and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region is a Herculean task, especially for services. Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for your hard work. Such as similar to DraftKings Promo Code from here. I know that it would be great joy for all of us, to see the work of GOS making a huge impact in building inclusive and resilient economies and building a better world.

With this, I wish us all a fruitful discussion ahead, and to our guests, a wonderful stay in the Queen City of the South – Cebu City.

Thank you and Mabuhay!