The APEC Food Safety Cooperation Initiative
A major concern for consumers, industry and government, food safety is an important public health issue. To respond to the health challenges posed by food safety, while at the same time ensuring that solutions do not create unnecessary barriers to trade in food, APEC is working to develop a framework to strengthen cooperation in food safety activities across member economies, as well as to share information and build capacity in the region to harmonise food safety regulatory frameworks with existing international food standards. By aligning domestic and international standards, member economies are also working to eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade in food and international products.
Information technology is a critical component in reducing business costs throughout the Asia-Pacific. The Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), in conjunction with the Telecommunications and Information Working Group, provides a coordinating role for APEC’s e-commerce activities by promoting the development in the Asia-Pacific of legal, regulatory and policy environments for e-commerce that are predictable, transparent and consistent.
Protecting Data Privacy
Cross-border data flows are the currency of the digital economy that fuels growth in the information age. Information and communications technology that link to the Internet and other information networks have made it possible to collect, store and access information from anywhere in the world. These technologies offer great benefits for business, individuals and governments, including increased consumer choice, market expansion, productivity, education, and product innovation. However, while these technologies make it easier to collect, link and use large quantities of information, they also make these activities undetectable to individuals. As a result, concerns can arise over the control of personal information leading to a lack of consumer trust and confidence in the privacy and security of on-line transactions and information networks. This in turn may prevent member economies from realizing all of the benefits of e-commerce.
Industry operates across a range of regulatory systems which can impact on transactional costs and compliance, which in turn may impact on e-commerce.