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Reducing Regulatory Divergence Stimulates Open and Dynamic Trade
Source: apec.org
Source Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Created: Aug 26, 2014

In an increasingly integrated global economy, international regulatory cooperation plays an important role in both lowering barriers to trade and investment while ensuring effective management of global risks from food safety to financial crises.

At a session conducted alongside the APEC meetings being held in Beijing this week, APEC economies came together to determine how to reduce unnecessary regulatory divergences to stimulate open and dynamic trade and how regulatory cooperation can assist enforcement across borders to manage risks to the global economy.

Participants recognized that international regulatory cooperation is increasingly acknowledged as key to helping facilitate the flow of goods, services, and investment between economies, thereby increasing regional connectivity. In a practical sense, it builds confidence and trust between regulators of developed and developing economies.

“International regulatory cooperation, if driven and supported by business, can lower barriers to trade and investment, and encourage the movement of labour,” said Rory McLeod who is the Chair of the APEC Economic Committee.

“Better-informed choices about international regulatory cooperation will contribute to improvements in regulation so that the efficient functioning of markets is supported and behind-the-border barriers to trade and investment are reduced,” he continued.

Enhanced international cooperation on regulatory systems, like global data standards, is increasingly critical. However the global economy is inter-connected, regulatory frameworks still reside with individual economies.

New Zealand developed and presented a draft International Regulatory Cooperation Toolkit for possible use by economies.

“The toolkit aims to provide policymakers and regulators with practical guidance on the menu of options available when undertaking regulatory cooperation with other economies,” said Carmen Mak, Principal Policy Advisor in the Trade and International Environment Branch at New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

She explained that policymakers would be able to draw on case studies that are being developed for the toolkit to help evaluate options for international regulatory cooperation.

A capacity building workshop conducted in Beijing last week also allowed economies to share best practices and learn from each other on the merits of different types of regulatory cooperation.

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