A Divided APEC: Challenges Ahead and Outlook for 2019



About the Seminar

News that the APEC-Pacific leaders had failed to agree on a communique at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea on 18 November 2018 sent ripples and highlighted the divisions and tensions between the United States and China over trade, investment and finance issues. This is the first time in APEC’s recent history that a Leaders’ Declaration was not issued. Instead a Chairman’s statement will be issued in the coming days.

Papua New Guinea hosted the Chairmanship under the theme “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future”. APEC will continue in its concerted action to strengthen Asia-Pacific trade for greater growth and prosperity for all in the region. APEC would also continue to seize opportunities and respond to challenges from the digital economy and serve as a driver for economic integration and growth, at a time of heightened tensions. Technological change can be decisive in pushing the Asia-Pacific growth engine further in the years ahead.

What were the important issues highlighted during the APEC Year 2018? How can region be brought back into track to break the present road blocks on trade, finance and growth? What are the expectations of regional policy experts for economic growth in 2019? What are some of the top risks and barriers in 2019? How can technology impact on APEC in the years ahead?

To discuss these issues and more, this seminar will bring together policy makers and experts to discuss the challenges the chairmanship of APEC faced in 2018. The seminar will provide a glimpse of the upcoming APEC Chairmanship by Chile in 2019. The seminar will also include a presentation on the ‘State of the Region’, an annual PECC publication which will highlight some the challenges facing the Asia-Pacific economies.

About the Speakers

Topic: Uncertain Times: Some Take-Aways from the Port Moresby APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit

Alan Bollard is the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore, the body that promotes trade, investment and sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific. Dr Bollard advances APEC’s agenda by executing APEC’s work programmes as mandated by Leaders and Ministers.

Prior to joining APEC, Dr Bollard was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 2002 to 2012. In that position, he was responsible for monetary policy and bank regulations, helping steer New Zealand through the global financial crisis.

From 1998 to 2002, Dr Bollard was the Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury.  As the government’s principal economic adviser, he managed the Crown’s finances and helped guide economic policy. He has served as New Zealand’s Alternate Governor to the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.  From 1994-2008, he was the Chairman of the New Zealand Commerce Commission.  Prior to this from 1987 to 1994 he was Director of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. Dr Bollard wrote a best-selling account of the GFC called “Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse”.  He has published a novel entitled ‘The Rough Mechanical’ and a biography of famous economist Bill Phillips in 2016.

Dr Bollard has a PhD in Economics from the University of Auckland.  He has since been awarded several honorary doctorate degrees.  In 2012 he was honoured as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Topic: 2019 APEC Chile Policy Priorities

Hellmut Lagos is the Host Economy Representative for APEC Chile 2019 in Singapore. A career diplomatic officer, he studied Journalism and holds a degree in Security and Defence at the National Academy for Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) at the Ministry of Defence of Chile.

He studied Diplomacy at the Diplomatic Academy of Chile and holds a Master’s degree in International Law and International Relations of the Ortega y Gasset Institute, Madrid. He also completed the Executive Master in the Law of International Conflict at the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Mr Lagos joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile in 1995 and has served as Protocol Officer (1997-1998), Alternate Representative to the International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica (1999-2000), Consul in Rome and Alternate Representative to the International Organizations in Rome (2001-2004), Alternate Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other International Organizations in Vienna(2005-2008), Programme Director at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in Singapore (2009-2010). Mr Lagos served as Deputy Head for International Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago (2011-2013).

Mr Lagos has also been delegate to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva (2016-2018). He has received the Medal of Diplomatic Merit of Chile, the Order of Merit of the French Republic, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy and the White Lion Order of Finland.

Topic: State of the Region 2018-2019

Eduardo Pedrosa is the Secretary General of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. Mr Pedrosa first joined PECC as its Director (Policy Program) in 2001 where his responsibilities included the management and coordination of the Council’s research program.

He co-edited An APEC Trade Agenda: The Political Economy of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and “Towards Balanced and Sustainable Growth Strategies for Post Crisis Asia”. He has written a number of articles including Towards an ASEAN Economic Community: Matching the Hardware with the Operating System and Implications of an Uncertain Global Economy on Integration Initiatives.

Before moving to Singapore, he was the coordinator of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Southeast Asia cooperation program based in Manila and also the co-editor of its journal on regional economics and politics. He has also worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to iseasevents3@iseas.edu.sg by 26 November 2018.


Nov 27 2018


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2