The APEC Chemical Dialogue, the premier forum for the chemical industry in the Asia-Pacific region, was held virtually on Thursday (Nov 10), according to a release issued by the APEC Secretariat and received here on Friday.
The Asia-Pacific region represents over 45 percent of the global chemical manufacturing business, or an equivalent of seven percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
Of the 120 million jobs supported by the industry, more than 69 percent are in the Asia-Pacific, according to the American Chemistry Council.
"Chemicals are a critical part of many essential goods. In fact, 96 percent of all manufactured goods rely on chemistry," Sergio Barrientos, industry co-chair of the APEC Chemical Dialogue, stated.
"From masks and other personal protective equipment to hand sanitizers and crucial disinfectants, the chemical industry plays an essential role in producing important supplies in the fight against COVID-19," he remarked.
Government and industry representatives convened virtually in early November and discussed top priorities in the chemicals sector as well as the plan of actions moving forward, including prioritizing collaboration between public and private sectors to develop innovative solutions for sustainable economic, environmental, and social development through the application of good regulatory practices.
Through its virtual working group, the APEC Chemical Dialogue forum advances APEC’s agenda on trade and investment by promoting regulatory alignment and convergence to the globally harmonized system of classification and labelling of chemicals and encouraging the sharing of information and best practices on the sound management of the industry.
"One of the key areas of interest in the forum is good regulatory practices," Renee Hancher, the acting government co-chair, stated.
"When applied uniformly and consistently, good regulatory practices produce more effective and efficient regulatory outcomes, prevent unnecessary obstacles to trade caused by regulations, and provide a more predictable regulatory environment that encourages trade and investment," Hancher remarked.
The forum promotes cross-cutting collaboration to bolster development of and investment in innovative solutions to land-based waste management and ensure coherence on marine debris initiatives with the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group and other APEC fora.
The forum recently reiterated the commitment to join the global efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by providing essential materials required to fight the pandemic in the Asia-Pacific region and globally.
"Collaboration between the industry and government drives a forward-thinking agenda and contributes to a more coherent regulatory environment for chemicals in the Asia-Pacific, promotes higher health, safety, and environment standards, and prevents barriers to trade," Barrientos affirmed.
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