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APEC Women and the Economy Forum“Flourishing Women's Leadership in the Asia-Pacific”

The APEC Women and Economy Forum was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, from June 28 to June 30. Ministers, congress members, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and researchers from APEC economies assembled to hold discussions under the theme of "Women and Innovative Economic Growth."

Participants shared the significance of an open society that unleashes women's economic potential as their participation to the economy is indispensable for innovative growth. They adopted a statement expressing their willingness to take concrete measures.

Participants include Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of State. From Japan, Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Cabinet Office, and Kenji Goto, Deputy Director-General for International Regional Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City, attended the forum along with delegates from public and private sectors.

The outcome of this forum will be reported to APEC Leader's Meeting in Vladivostok in September.

1. Japanese government's remarks

(1) Report on the "APEC Leadership Forum on Women: Powerhouse for Economic Growth"

At the meeting of the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy on June 28, Mr. Goto made a report of the outcome of the "APEC Leadership Forum on Women: Powerhouse for Economic Growth," which was held this March in Yokohama (see the details below).

Details of the report

Reporting the outcome of the APEC Leadership Forum on Women (Mr. Kenji Goto, Deputy Director-General, METI, and Ms. Keiko Takegawa, Deputy Director-General, Cabinet Office (front right))Reporting the outcome of the APEC Leadership Forum on Women (Mr. Kenji Goto, Deputy Director-General, METI, and Ms. Keiko Takegawa, Deputy Director-General, Cabinet Office (front right))
At the "APEC Leadership Forum on Women: Powerhouse for Economic Growth," the participants confirmed that in order to build a society where a larger number of women can exercise their leadership, it is important to promote efforts for (i) sharing the common view, (ii) accumulating best practices and research, and (iii) building multi-layered international network.

Among these, regarding efforts for (ii) sharing best practices and research results, and (iii) creating networks beyond the framework of companies and organizations and across national borders, Mr. Goto proposed that Japan would take the initiative in promoting related projects. The United States also manifested its intention to initiate projects for networking, and after the negotiations, it was decided that both countries would jointly take the initiative in promoting networking.

(2) Report on Japan's efforts by Minister Nakagawa

At the High Level Policy Dialogue on June 30, Minister Nakagawa reported Japan's efforts. The Minister explained that under the leadership of Prime Minister Noda, Japan has been promoting women's participation as the core for revitalizing the Japanese economy, and introduced concrete measures including "Operation Working Nadeshiko," in which efforts should be made for visualizing positive impacts of women's participation on companies, and providing financial and administrative support for promoting business startups by women.

Representatives of APEC economies at the High Level Policy Dialogue (front center: Ms. Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation)

Representatives of APEC economies at the High Level Policy Dialogue (front center: Ms. Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation)

Speech by Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Cabinet Office

Speech by Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Cabinet Office

2. Speech by Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City

Speech by Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama CitySpeech by Ms. Fumiko Hayashi,
Mayor of Yokohama City
At the beginning of the Public-Private Dialogue on Issues related to Women and the Economy on June 29, Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City, delivered a speech. Ms. Hayashi stressed that it is required to take a bold step forward to make positive actions based on the common awareness that women's participation and collaboration are indispensable for economic growth and prosperity. Furthermore, she introduced the measures that Yokohama City has been taking, such as for resolving the problem of long waiting lists at nurseries, so as to remove barriers to prevent women's participation in society.

3. Panel discussions by private sector speakers and moderators

Ms. Hiroko Kuniya as a moderator at the session on “women in corporate management”Ms. Hiroko Kuniya as a moderator at the session on “women in corporate management”
At the Public-Private Dialogue on Issues related to Women and the Economy on June 29, panel discussions were held separately at six sessions under the themes of "women in the innovative economy," "investment in human capital," "women and entrepreneurship," "work-life balance," "women in corporate management," and "women and IT."

From Japan, Ms. Akiko Ryu, Senior Operating Officer and Director of Public Relations of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Ms. Natsuko Shiraki, CEO of HASUNA Co., Ltd., Ms. Michiko Achilles, Executive Officer of Shiseido Co., Ltd., and Ms. Kaori Sasaki, President and CEO of ewoman, Inc. attended as speakers. Ms. Hiroko Kuniya, a well-known newscaster, served as a moderator to lead the session on "women in corporate management."

Ms. Delia Domingo Albert, Former Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Philippines, and Japanese delegates (from front left: Ms. Kaori Sasaki and Ms. Akiko Ryu; front right: Ms. Michiko Achilles)

Ms. Delia Domingo Albert, Former Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Philippines, and Japanese delegates (from front left: Ms. Kaori Sasaki and Ms. Akiko Ryu; front right: Ms. Michiko Achilles)

Ms. Natsuko Shiraki talking about the necessity of networking from her experience of starting a business

Ms. Natsuko Shiraki talking about the necessity of networking from her experience of starting a business

4. Statement adopted at the forum

On June 30, the final day, the statement, which incorporates concrete measures in three fields, "innovative economy," "business opportunities," and "human capital," was adopted so as to further promote women's economic participation. It was requested that APEC as a whole, as well as respective economies, should make further efforts. (see full texts of the statementExternal Site Link)

5. Others

Speech by Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of StateSpeech by Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton,
United States Secretary of State
Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Secretary of State, attended the reception held on June 29. In her speech, she stated that women's participation will hold the key to the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region, and also commented on Japan, mentioning (i) that Japan will be able to raise its GDP by 15% through promoting women's participation, (ii) that Japan gave high priority to issues concerning women and the economy, acting as the chair of APEC in 2010, and (iii) that Japan held the "APEC Leadership Forum on Women: Powerhouse for Economic Growth" in March 2012, and has led discussions on women's leadership in the Asia-Pacific region (see full texts of the speechExternal Site Link).

Release Date

July 11, 2012

Division in Charge

APEC Office, Officials of Trade Policy Bureau

Related Information

APEC
 
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