Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Advancing Regional Economic Integration amidst Growth Moderation


About the Seminar

The 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) theme of “Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future” covers three priorities: (i) improving connectivity and deepening regional economic integration; (ii) promoting sustainable and inclusive growth; (iii) and strengthening inclusive growth through development of the digital economy. The APEC Trade Ministers Meeting from 25 to 26 May held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) looked for ways to strengthen these three priorities.

During the same meeting, APEC Policy Support Unit launched its Regional Trend Analysis, which reported that growth in APEC economies had surged to 4.1 percent in 2017, from 3.4 percent last year. APEC economies enjoyed a broad-based recovery with contributions from consumption and a significant turn-around in trade. In 2018-2019, the region is expected to face a stronger pick-up in global economic and trade activity. However, there are some downside risks from potential policy missteps and build-up of financial vulnerabilities.

Given the discussion in APEC recently, this seminar will provide a brief on the economic outlook of APEC economies. It will examine what inclusion means operationally in terms of equalising access to opportunities, what policies might contribute to inclusion, and how inclusion has been incorporated into trade policy. The seminar will also summarise the key outcomes from the recent APEC Trade Ministers’ meeting in Port Moresby.

About the Speakers

Topic: Asia-Pacific Economic Trends: Growth Surges but Uncertainty Persists

Dr Denis Hew
APEC Policy Support Unit, Singapore

Denis Hew is Director of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU), which is the research arm of APEC. Before taking up his current appointment, Dr Hew was Regional Cooperation Specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where he managed technical assistance and coordinated efforts on regional cooperation and integration in the Southeast Asia department. From 2001 to 2008, Dr Hew was Senior Fellow and Program Coordinator (Regional Economic Studies) at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (then known as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore). He was also for many years the Managing Editor of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, a leading academic journal that focuses on policy-relevant economic issues in Southeast Asia. Dr Hew has written extensively on regional economic cooperation and integration, especially in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr Denis Hew holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom and MSc and PhD in Finance from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Mr Emmanuel A. San Andres
APEC Policy Support Unit, Singapore

Emmanuel A. San Andres is an Analyst of APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU). He holds a Master of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

Prior to joining PSU, Mr San Andres was an Economics Officer at the Economics and Research Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila mainly working on poverty, inequality, food security, and social sector issues such as health, education, and employment. He also worked as a consultant for ADB, World Bank, and various non-government organisations. He has conducted research on migration and remittances, economic development, taxation, and public policy.

Topic: Reflections on the 24th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting, May 2018

Mr Benjamin Tan
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore

Benjamin Tan is Senior Assistant Director at the Trade Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in Singapore. At MTI, he joined the International Trade Cluster starting with a focus on Trade in Goods and Standards-related issues, and moving to the APEC team in 2014. Mr Tan was the Convenor of the APEC Market Access Group from 2015 to 2017. He has been actively involved in several of Singapore’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. These include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He is currently involved in FTA negotiations between Singapore and the Eurasian Economic Union. Prior to joining MTI, he was with the private sector, working in China and the Philippines.

For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 6 July 2018.


Jul 09 2018


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2