APEC Leaders Endorse Public-Private Actions on Food Safety and Advertising  

Food Safety was high on the agenda on the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting which concluded on 11 November in Beijing. The leaders appreciated the efforts of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) to help ensure the safety of food produced and traded in the APEC region. Furthermore, the leaders declared that they “endorse the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development to promote alignment of advertising standards and reduce the cost of doing business across the region”. The APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development extols and formally endorses best practice advertising self-regulation.

APEC Economic Leaders Meeting:


The meeting was a gathering of the Heads of State of the 21 APEC economies. The main outcome of the meeting is the announcement of a start of the negotiations of a free trade agreement – called the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). It is also recognised in the Declaration that there is a need to accelerate “at the border” trade liberalisation and facilitation efforts, improve the business environment “behind the border”, and enhance regional connectivity “across the border” to accumulate more building blocks for the realisation of the FTAAP.”

  • The leaders agreed that among the actions that needed to happen is the implementation of the Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development.
  • The leaders also commended the APEC Food Safety Beijing Statement 2014 which will help to ensure the safety of food produced and traded in this region.

Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and Practice Development:


The opening paragraph of the Action Agenda recognises the economic importance of advertising and of best practice advertising regulation –

“As an important driving force in guiding consumption, expanding domestic demand and stimulating economic growth, advertising is a critical way of helping companies and industries across the APEC economies grow. Advertising enhances brand recognition, fosters competition, increases cross-border trade and provides for information and educational exchanges that build modern industrial economies. Regulatory and self-regulatory frameworks for advertising help achieve innovation, productivity and growth in all goods and services sold across and within APEC economies. The APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) study of 2014 recognised the significant benefits of advertising.”

The document also includes an endorsement of self-regulation –

“Advertising standards refer to codes of practice – set out by the advertising industry on the basis of international experience and adapted to locally and culturally specific realities. As such, these standards provide guidance on how best to protect and inform consumers and prevent anti-competitive practices and complement a sound regulatory system. A self-regulation system that applies advertising standards is an implementation of self-discipline and self-management under industry auspices and is an important complement to government regulation and enforcement”

The Action Agenda also discusses topics such as the Principles of Self-Regulation and the Role that Governments, Industry Associations, and Businesses can play. FIA is grateful to Glen Wiggs from the Foundation for Advertising Research for sharing these valuable updates. For more information, please visit the FAR website.


APEC Food Safety Beijing Statement 2014


On 12 September 2014, the APEC High-Level Regulator Industry Dialogue on Food Safety was held in Beijing. The APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) convened high level food safety regulators, senior food industry representatives from the Asia Pacific region, along with relevant international stakeholders, to this high-level forum. The participants at this forum exchanged views on how to work together to support “a food safety partnership shaping the future”, so as to address complex challenges emerging in the area of food safety, and to further secure a safe and sufficient food supply today and in the future.

The attendees of the high-level dialogue prepared an APEC Food Safety Beijing Statement 2014 which says that a collaborative approach to building safe food supply chains across the region will contribute to the broader economic and trade objectives of APEC economies. Click here to view the full Beijing Statement.

It was stated at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting that the leaders “commend the ongoing efforts of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN), which will help ensure the safety of food produced and traded in the APEC region by improving food safety regulatory systems, encouraging harmonisation with international science-based standards, building capacity in areas that will facilitate trade, and enhancing communication and collaboration between industry and regulators to address emerging food safety issues. We welcome the APEC Food Safety Beijing Statement of the 2014 APEC High-Level Regulator Industry Dialogue on Food Safety.”

To view the full 2014 Leaders' Declaration, please click here.


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