APEC report calls for structural reforms, green recovery from pandemic

A portfolio of complementary enabling policies, including facilitating investment in green initiatives, is imperative as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies embark on green structural reforms to promote sustainable recovery from the pandemic
and future economic shocks, an APEC report on structural reform in the Asia-Pacific region shows.

“Structural reform will be required as a response to the economic slowdown caused by Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), and actions to combat climate change and other environmental challenges have become significantly more urgent,” the 2022 APEC Economic Report said.

The report said investment in green initiatives can be facilitated through reducing regulatory barriers, improving access to credit, or promoting the use of sustainable finance alignment tools.

It said other complementary measures include supporting green innovation, providing information on green products to inform consumer and investor decision-making, supporting the development of green technologies through public procurement, promoting international
cooperation, and investing in training and skills for a green economy, among others.

“Competitive product and services markets are important to foster green innovation and technology adoption and remove barriers to entry, particularly for small, innovative firms,” it added.

The economic report identified getting a better understanding on the process to develop and implement green regulatory measures, including complementary enabling policies, among the key capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities in areas where more work is needed to transform toward a green economy.

Others include mobilizing finance toward green investments, keeping in mind competitive and well structured green investment projects; learning how to develop pricing schemes such as for carbon pricing; and strengthening collaboration with the private sector.

“The participation of the business community and consumers is important in transforming the economy into a greener one. Resolving environmental challenges is a long term process and policy uncertainty is one of the main barriers to transitioning to a green economy,” it

Skills in the government and private sector are also critical to the implementation of effective green structural reforms, and integral to the transition toward a low-carbon economy, it added.

The report said structural reforms can be supported by incentivising green innovation and technologies, developing new sectors, and smoothing the transition for workers and industries by helping them adjust to the new conditions.

“Innovation is critical to increase productivity and dynamism in this new context,” it added.

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