The 6th APEC Gender Focal Point Network Meeting Summary Report

17-18 May 2008

The Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) held its 6th meeting on 17-18 May in Tacna, Peru.  As an official fora of the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) 36 representatives from 13 economies attended the meeting to discuss the further integration of a gender perspective across APEC.

Australia was represented this year by officers from the Australian Government Office for Women and the Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs. 

The importance of the inclusion of gender in trade policy and economic development was recently highlighted by research that stated gender discrimination and the marginalisation of women cost APEC economies some US$80 billion annually.

The GFPN reported to the APEC SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) which took forward GFPN recommendation and findings to APEC Ministers and Leaders. The report recommended further support for women business operators to access the Asia-Pacific market and to benefit from free trade and globalisation.

Outcomes of the meeting include:

  • The Project Assessment Standing Committee (PASC), a new committee to provide advice to all APEC fora and economies on how to address projects that impact both men and women.
  • Provision of advice to the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group (SMEWG) on addressing gender in their new Strategic Plan.

Further actions of importance this year for GFPN include the review of the GFPN Terms of Reference and the independent review of GFPN for senior APEC officials.

The important work of the GFPN was also acknowledged in the recent meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade. The Ministers recognised the importance of factoring gender into the development of trade policy and welcomed initiatives for the promotion of women exporters in the APEC region.

The next GFPN is scheduled for August 2009, Singapore.

Further Information

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