By Joann Santiago
MANILA, Dec. 9 (PNA) — Some one million students from Asia and the Pacific are set to benefit from the planned scholarship grants to be offered by members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member-countries.
Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario, chairperson of the APEC 2015 Senior Officials Meeting, said they target to hit the one million goal by 2020.
“And that’s because APEC believes in investing in human capital. The jobs in the future will be more complex,” she said in a briefing after the two-day Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM) in Makati Shangri La Tuesday.
Del Rosario said they have communicated with all the major universities in the Philippines to join the program and two have already pledged to offer scholarships.
She, however, did not name the higher learning institutions that have committed to join the program.
She said the program was launched and discussed during the APEC event in China last November.
The program aims to equip students in the region especially on technological advances.
Del Rosario explained that given the technological innovations, people should be equipped with the right skills to be able to cope up with the demand of jobs.
She said people should adapt to these changes to take hold and be able to grab opportunities presented to them.
“In APEC, we consider technology as the engine for growth. Technological processes and products create jobs,” she noted.
Del Rosario also pointed out that leading universities around the world are adopting these innovations and offering courses to be taken online.
”That changes the model of education…These changes are because of technology…and this is what APEC is looking at…the changes ahead of us,” she said.
Del Rosario said leaders who attended the ISOM are unified in further strengthening the bid for a more inclusive growth through human capital development.
The priorities of the APEC 2015 Meetings, which the Philippines hosts, were presented during the two-day event attended by officials from other 20 APEC-member countries.
These priorities include the achievement of free and open trade and investment by 2010 for developed members and by 2020 for developing members; 10 percent improvement in supply chain performance by 2015 in terms of time, cost and uncertainty; aspirational goal of a 25 percent improvement in ease of doing business by 2015; and reduction of tariffs on APEC list of environmental goods to five percent or less by end-2015.
Other priorities are the reduction of aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035; a universal broadband access in APEC region by 2015; convergence on regulatory approval procedures for medical products by 2020; the aspirational goal of increasing forest cover in the region by at least 20 million hectares by 2020; conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020; and increasing the share of renewables in APEC energy mix by 2030.
“And they strongly supported them because our theme of inclusive growth resonated with them. It’s an objective that they themselves saw also as necessary in their own economies,” Del Rosario said. (PNA)