As a member economy of APEC, the Philippines is hosting APEC Women and the Economy 2015 Fora along the theme: “Women as Prime Movers of Inclusive Growth”. This theme seeks to impress on both the public and private sectors the significance of attaining the priorities of APEC, particularly in Investing in Human Capital Development and Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities.

APEC WE 2015 Fora seeks to advance the economic integration of women in the APEC region for the benefit of all members, to coordinate the gender activities across other APEC working groups and encourage public-private dialogues to streamline and elevate the influence of women’s issues within APEC.

It hopes to reach out to all women in its member economies for them to take collective stock of past achievements, identify present and continuing barriers as well as appropriate interventions, and support future aspirations for women’s full participation.

The Fora is an auspicious venue to coordinate the gender activities across other APEC working groups and encourage public-private dialogues to streamline and elevate the influence of women’s issues within APEC.

APEC WE 2015 FORA hopes to come up with concrete actions and recommendations that address the five pillars upon which to build further strength in the areas of Access to capital, Access to market, Skills and capacity building, Women’s leadership and agency, Innovation and technology.

The fora has three components: The Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE), the Public Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy (PPDWE) and the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy (HLPD).

The PPWE is the working group component of APEC WE which directly reports to the Senior Officials though the SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE). This is where the draft Ministerial Statement is discussed for endorsement and approval by the Ministers/Heads of Delegations to the HLPD.

The PPDWE serves to gather the larger participation of multi-sector key players from the private sector, academia and civil society for dialogue and exchange of learning and best endeavors to advance gender integration, gender equality and the women’s economic empowerment agenda in APEC. The PPDWE Report shall include Recommendations, to be forwarded to the Ministers/Heads of Delegation to the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy.

The HLPD is where Women and the Economy Statement will be adopted. It is expected to deliver a set of actionable, measurable, and concrete policy recommendations culled from the PPWE, PPDWE, for endorsement to the APEC Economic Leaders meeting in November 2015. The Women and the Economy Statement shall bear new growth strategies for women and inclusive businesses, women’s integration in global value chain and regional economy, and women practicing sustainable development.

The PPWE meeting will happen on September 16, followed by the PPDWE sessions on September 17 and the HLPD on September 18. While the three fora components are happening, simultaneous activities/events will take place.

On September 15, the U. S. Department of State and the United States – APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional integration (US-ATAARI) shall co-host the WE-APEC Workshop: Setting the Agenda for Action. This will provide dynamic and searchable access to the data compiled in the WE APEC report as well as serve as a mechanism to connect governments, private sector and women entrepreneurs’ networks with each other to identify partnership opportunities for growth and increased competitiveness.

Later in the day, members of the PPWE will have a working lunch to discuss the Dashboard implementation plan in detail and provide an opportunity for economies to discuss areas they would like to champion.

Also in the same day, the APEC Women’s Business and Smart Technology Seminar: Including & Leveraging Smart Technology for Empowering APEC Women Entrepreneurs will take place. This seminar will present current technology trends, best practices and business models. It aspires to present a structure and business plan for an online sustainable “smart start-up support system” of back-end services, and to formulate policies and develop strategies for leveraging smart technology.

This is co-hosted by Asia Pacific Women's Information Network Center (APWINC) (Republic of Korea) and the Department of Trade and Industry, co-organized by Global Women’s ICT Network (Republic and Korea) and Team Asia (Philippines) with the support of Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (Republic and Korea).

On September 16, the APEC Multi-Year Project (MYP) workshop on “Seminar of Empowering Women through ICT for Inclusive Growth” being implemented by Chinese-Taipei will follow. This aims to present the outcomes of the second phase of the project and provide a fresh outlook on how ICT can help women entrepreneurs expand their business opportunities. The workshop is co-hosted by the Department of Gender Equality of Chinese Taipei and the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines.

Finally, at lunchtime on this day, the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit shall be launched.

From September 16 to 18, two other events, LUXE Philippines and ICONOGRAPH shall be on exhibit. There will be a launch of this event at 4:00 p.m. at the PICC lobby. LUXE Philippines is an exhibition and upscale retail event that shall immerse the delegates into a shopping experience that showcases the country’s evolving commercial landscape. It also includes a space showcasing the GREAT Women products. ICONOGRAPH in the meantime shall aim to give recognition to the women ICONS from micro, small and medium enterprises of APEC member economies and share their stories and best endeavors in support of the goals of APEC Women and the Economy 2015 Fora.

The APEC WE 2015 is organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Commission on Women, and the Women’s Business Council. For more information, please visit (END)