APEC 2016: Quality Growth and Human Development

Human Development goes beyond growth measured exclusively in quantitative terms, incorporating broader considerations of social and environmental progress and sustainability. In this regard our priority on developing human capital particularly in the field of higher and technical education, employability and skills for work and boosting educational, scientific, technological and innovative capabilities looks for to enable APEC economies to move up the value chain, avoid the middle income trap and take the qualitative leap to develop the knowledge economies of the 21st Century. Under this scope, the theme of human capital development can be addressed from various angles: education, labor, employability, innovation, among others being critical the build of alliances within the public and private sector.

 

How did our APEC theme came to be?

As a host of APEC 2016, Peru has chosen as its general theme “Quality Growth and Human Development”, proposing an strategy oriented to facilitate quality and equitable growth in the region, and the enhancement of the growth strategies that place social and individual progress as central to this effort. This proposal, implemented in the framework of free market policies and openness to trade, will provide sustainability and legitimacy to the development processes. The proposal also relates to the provision of “Inclusive Growth” that was launched by the Peruvian government.

What inspiration lies behind our central theme?

The concept of human development is used at its broad meaning, which involves personal fulfillment and satisfaction levels of various dimensions, beyond progress measured quantitatively. It builds on the spirit of the previous presidency of APEC 2008, where Peru championed the concept of “The Social Dimension of Globalization”.

Leading economists and thinkers point out that although recent growth performance in the region has also brought significant progress in the eradication of poverty, particularly in developing economies, nowadays the prevalence of high levels of inequality is common to all economies in APEC. This problem, which represents a threat to global growth process, has been present in previous stages of the 2007-2008 financial crisis that coincided with our first APEC host year. To date, this condition has not been addressed with structural reform policies, but rather policies of monetary expansion and liquidity, particularly in the case of the developed economies, which has accentuated the polarization in income.