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
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)
Speech by Mr. Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Cabinet Office
2. Speech by Ms. Fumiko Hayashi, Mayor of Yokohama City
Mayor of Yokohama City
3. Panel discussions by private sector speakers and moderators
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. 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 statement)
United States Secretary of State
July 11, 2012
Division in Charge
APEC Office, Officials of Trade Policy Bureau