Building regulatory efficiencies in the telecommunications and ICT services sectors in the Asia-Pacific region

Monday, February 16, 2015

By Cassandra Oaten

This APEC symposium, entitled ‘Good Policy and Regulatory Practices to Facilitate Trade and Investment in Telecommunications and ICT Services’ was held 9-10 December 2014. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade received funding for this program from the Commonwealth of Australia’s foreign aid budget and contracted the Australian APEC Study Centre, experts in institutional capacity building to run this program.

A sharing of expertise amongst thirty regulators from thirteen APEC economies helped build the capacity of participants in considering possible measures for their respective economies to promote open, accessible trade and investment flows and service provisions in this sector.

The model of the symposium centred on a high level of input from industry, academics and trade specialists where participants could openly discuss with each other and these mentioned stakeholders what was happening in these sectors and how to improve regulatory practices to facilitate trade. Key in discussions was policy objectives in converging communications, market access and national treatment, pro-competitive environments and new ICT services in economies and across the region.

A ‘good practice report’ was produced at the conclusion of the symposium and is accessible here. It was presented and endorsed by the APEC Group on Services (GOS) during the APEC First Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM1) and Related Meetings in Clark, the Philippines that took place in January 2015.