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APEC Unit Established to Manage Increased Number of Capacity Building Projects

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The APEC Secretariat has launched a new Project Management Unit to coordinate the ever increasing number of APEC capacity building projects.

More than 250 projects valued at around US$18.5 million are currently being implemented around the APEC region with this amount set to increase on the back of recent additional funding commitments by Member Economies.

These projects cover areas that enable people, businesses and government departments to increase skills to better engage in trade and investment as well as increase their capacity to deal with potential natural disasters, terrorist attacks and health pandemics. Since APEC first began to undertake capacity building work in 1993, more than 1200 projects have been initiated.

After formally presenting details of the new unit to APEC Senior Officials in Cairns today, the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Ambassador Colin Heseltine, said the creation of the unit specifically to manage APEC capacity building projects is another component of APEC's ongoing reform program.

"The APEC Project Management Unit will improve APEC's project processes to ensure a more strategic approach is employed in identifying needs for capacity building support and then implementing the relevant projects," Ambassador Heseltine said.

"The objectives of the Project Management Unit are to improve the coordination of project activities and ensure more cost-effective and targeted projects. The unit will be located at the APEC Secretariat in Singapore through the reallocation of existing staff."

Ambassador Heseltine said the increasing range of APEC capacity building projects have grown to a point where a full time unit is required to ensure best management.

"Our capacity building efforts cover a broad range of areas and provide support at a local level to help people be more active in the global economy.

"These projects might include agricultural producing areas that will benefit from advances in post-harvest technology that will help to increase their crop harvest, through to customs officers who will improve their skills in the efficient processing of cargo at international ports."

The Project Management Unit's primary roles will include the management of the Secretariat Project Assessment Panel that will report to the APEC Budget and Management Committee on the outcomes of projects, and to conduct training programs for Program Directors and Member Economies to build capacity in project management.

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