APEC Women and Economy Forum 2013

   APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) 3rd Meeting was held in September 06-08, 2013 in Bali – Indonesia. The PPWE provides a mechanism to integrate gender considerations into APEC activities and provides policy advices on gender issues to support gender equality relevant to the APEC process. Participants among others are Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, Linda Gumelar; Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, Mari Pangestu; Mayor of Yokohama Japan, Fumiko Hayashi; and many other top women leaders from both government and private sectors.

   The theme for the 2013 meeting was Women as Economic Drivers. The looming global crisis should not become another missed opportunity for women to further participate in the economy. One of the panels discussed about the formulation of regulatory reform and policies to be pursued related to financial and labor market, mainly those that would enable women to perform and contribute to the economic growth more significantly.

   Another panel discussed about the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to create, organize and disseminate the information which enable women to cope with the current ICT development issues in accelerating their business growth. The ICT tools are expected to strengthen the women entrepreneur’s capacity in marketing and networking, as well as disseminating them for further use among women in the APEC communities.

   One of the panel discussions was handled by Akiko Ryu Innes-Taylor (Senior Operating Officer, Global Head of Public Relations Department, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd.) who was acting as the moderator. The development of soft and hard infrastructure to help women in accessing information to gain knowledge about it and contribute to the economy development has been discussed. Ryu-san raised important questions on what kind of challenges on human capital should be overcome to promote women in entrepreneurship; and what opportunities are available for women, particularly for those in rural areas.

   Ryu-san was very confident in directing and organizing the panel session attended by Minister of Council of Economic Planning and Development of Chinese Taipei, Chung Ming Kuan; CEO Martha Tilaar Group Indonesia, Martha Tilaar; Executive Director of GAP Inc. PACE USA, Dotti Hatcher; Managing Director Tupperware Indonesia, Nining Pernama; and Senior Manager for Global HR Unicharm Japan, Miyako Sasaki. The session concluded that there was an urgent need to build supporting infrastructure and develop skills to enhance women’s economic productivity.

   As representatives of Otsuka Group in Indonesia, we were lucky to obtain the opportunity of experiencing such a fruitful and inspiring APEC Women and Economy Forum. We were also proud of witnessing one of the outstanding role model woman from Otsuka, Ryu-san who has demonstrated a great leadership and communication skill in the international forum. Furthermore, we had a very good chance to directly interact and build networking with other women leaders from all over the globe. We then realize the importance of recognizing everybody’s personal initiatives to be taken in to account when making any decision and action plan by promoting respects and implementing the values of diversity.

   The APEC forum was officially opened by Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia, Linda Gumelar; and was followed by the performance of Sekar Jepun dance, a new dance created by professional Bali women dancers. During the sessions, the committee also invited many Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) groups run and organized by women from across Indonesia to display their products at the venue. The forum was then officially closed with gala dinner performing, among others, Tuti Maryati, a professional singer who beautifully sang many songs from different participating countries in the APEC forum. (END)

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