Senior Officials of Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have convened on for the first time this year in Indonesia ’s capital city of Jakarta to discuss issues that will form the foundation for the forum’s Leaders’ Meeting scheduled to be held in Bali in October.

According to a press release, the priorities underpinning this work, which was carried out on September 6-7, are centred on enhancing free trade, pursuing sustainable growth with equity and promoting connectivity.

The Chair of the APEC Senior Officials, Yuri Thamrin, said that a more focused discussion on non-tariff measures and barriers in goods, services and investment is necessary to advance the goal of free and open trade and investment.

“A more connected Asia-Pacific will assist the flow of goods, services, capital, and skilled people in the region,” said Thamrin. “With actions taken in 2013, APEC will improve its quality of growth and strengthen regional economic integration by connecting the region’s growth centres.”

Senior Officials will meet next in Surabaya which will precede the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in April.-VNA