Over the past two years, Mia Mikic and Sherry Stephenson have been carrying out  in support of the APEC Group on Services. This work originated in a request from the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade to examine the role of Essential Services during times of major disruptions to trade.   


Mia and Sherry chose to focus on logistics services, given their importance in moving Essential Goods across borders during periods of crises. In this context, the APEC region was at the forefront in recognizing the importance of Essential Services alongside Essential Goods in responding to periods of crisis. The project achieved three major outcomes of note:


First, at last month’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco, APEC Ministers endorsed a set of Non-Binding Guidelines on Logistics-related Services that Support the Movement of Essential Goods During a Public Health Emergency. These appear as the sole Annex to the APEC Joint Ministerial Statement 2023 (https://www.apec.org/meeting-papers/annual-ministerial-meetings/2023/2023-apec-ministerial-meeting/apec-non-binding-guidelines-on-logistics-related-services-that-support-the-movement-of-essential-goods-during-a-public-health-emergency)


Second, APEC economies adopted an agreed definition of ten Logistics-related Services which they will use as a consistent statistical grouping when discussing Essential Services and their role during periods of disruption to trade.  (https://www.apec.org/meeting-papers/sectoral-ministerial-meetings/trade/apec-ministers-responsible-for-trade-statement-of-chair/annex-a-apec-definition-of-logistics-related-services). This definition has also been adopted by the OECD as a specific cluster of service activities in its STRI (Services Trade Restrictiveness Index) database.This will permit coherence across these discussions and analysis.  


Third, a dedicated web page has been created as a repository to gather together the work, presentations, official statements and outcomes of the two-year project for future reference. 


The dedicated web page is located on the Australian APEC Study Centre website and can be found via: https://www.apec.org.au/logistics.