Navarro was the keynote speaker at the international event titled “Toward Building Resilient Supply Chains – A Possible Role of Investment Policy” organized by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Japan held on May 13-14. Navarro presented his most recent research completed for the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) “FTAAP Investment Policy” where he identified the issues and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought on global value chains (GVCs), made a comparative analyses of investment contents in trade agreements namely the CPTPP, the RCEP and the CAI agreements; and provided recommendations to enhance resilience of GVCs in the context of cross-border investment from a business perspective. This workshop was attended by senior officials, business people, experts and scholars from the 21 Asia Pacific economies that comprises APEC.
During his presentation, Navarro pointed out that the pandemic highlighted the pivotal role played by the supply chain networks, not just in ensuring the free and smooth movement of goods but in keeping our economies connected and sharing the economic and social benefits. He stated that the future of global value chains (GVCs) depends on the policy measures that are taken now where investment policy is especially relevant as a tool to support resilience efforts. Navarro concluded providing seven recommendations to support supply chain resilience in a post-Covid-19 stage where he urged governments to accelerate economic recovery from Covid-19 and build diverse, flexible and resilient supply chains. This should be done joining efforts, simplifying investment procedures, harmonizing investment standards, offering greater transparency on investment rules, opening markets and reducing restrictions, facilitating the link between foreign investors with local companies, sharing experiences and best practices via their Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs); reforming as needed FDI policy to create an appropriate business climate, and, overall, ensuring investment protection and fair and non-discriminatory actions. Navarro added that Digital technology with facilitated data flow is essential to building stronger, smarter and more efficient supply chains, advancing connectivity and promoting innovation.
Navarro shared the virtual stage alongside distinguished researchers, policymakers and leaders from different universities, governments and global organizations such as the OECD, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Japan, the Asian Trade Centre, the Japan External Trade Organisation, the Ministry of Foreign Trade from Peru, the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT University, Waseda University, Chuo Gakuin University, Kobe University, ABAC, The Supply Chain Research Cooperative at NC State University, the institute for International Trade at The University of Adelaide, the Milken Institute’s Center for Regional Economics, and the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA).