Today I will attend the 16th APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting in Singapore to discuss how APEC can advance the G20 agenda of strong, sustainable and balanced growth, in particular by boosting productivity in the region.
Today's meeting will also provide an opportunity to assess the impacts on the region of the global recession, as well as the implementation of measures put in place in response to the crisis. Ministers will also be briefed by the heads of the IMF and the World Bank about the global and regional economic outlook.
APEC is the region's premier economic forum and - with its strong track record of medium-term policy reform - has a major role to play in helping to build a sustained recovery following the global recession.
Our focus at today's meeting on boosting productivity growth comes at a time when our region is fast emerging as the engine room of global growth.
This brings great opportunities for Australia and for our neighbours to create wealth and lift the living standards of our people. For Australia many of the emerging opportunities, particularly in exporting to the fast-growing markets of the region, will depend on undertaking reforms and putting in place modern economic infrastructure.
In recognition of the major infrastructure challenges the region faces – particularly in relation to financing major infrastructure in a capital constrained environment – today I will be launching a new expert study: Meeting APEC's post-crisis infrastructure challenge: Towards commonality in PPP infrastructure markets.
This study highlights the scope for greater commonality in approaches to bidding procedures and concession agreements, as well as the gains that can accrue in terms of lower bidding costs, greater competition and better access to finance. The report builds on APEC's previous work that explores Public-Private Partnership (PPP) frameworks.
For the first time, today's Finance Minister's Meeting is being held during APEC's Leaders' Week to ensure Finance Ministers can provide timely recommendations to APEC Leaders ahead of their meetings this weekend.
12 November 2009