Main points of the APEC summit declaration
Here are the main points from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's joint declaration following the conclusion of the 21-member grouping's summit on Sunday.
- APEC Leaders pledged to move toward more market-determined exchange rate systems. They will enhance exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying economic fundamentals and will refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies. "Advanced economies, including those with reserve currencies, will be vigilant against excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates. These actions will help mitigate the risk of excessive volatility in capital flows facing some emerging market economies."
Doha Round and Protectionism
- Affirmed their "strong commitment" to bring the Doha Round of world trade talks "to a prompt and successful conclusion."
- Declared that 2011 is "a critically important window of opportunity" to conclude the round and directed their officials to negotiate with "a sense urgency in the end game."
- Extended a 2008 freeze on any new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services for another three years to 2013.
Free Trade Area
- APEC will take "concrete steps" toward eventually forging a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
- This may be done by building upon ongoing regional undertakings, including the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations and "ASEAN + 3," which includes Japan, China and South Korea in an East Asia community. Another building block will be the U.S.-led TranspAcific Partnership that is being negotiated among nine countries.
- The FTAAP may also be pursued through sectoral initiatives initially in areas such as investment, services, and trade facilitation.
New Growth Strategy
- APEC is undertaking a collective growth strategy for the first time.
- The strategy focuses on "five desired attributes" of balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth.
- APEC aims to implement the strategy by 2015.
- An Action Plan to do that deals with structural reform, human resource and entrepreneurship development, green growth knowledge-based economy, and human security.
Regional Economic Integration
The regional economic integration initiative aims to work toward the goal of having all APEC economies achieve free and open trade and investment by 2020. This is also known as the "Bogor Goals" because it was agreed at the 1994 summit in Bogor Indonesia.
The leaders pledged to:
- Strive toward an aspirational target of a 25 percent improvement by 2015 in the five priority areas of: starting a business; getting credit; trading across borders; enforcing contracts; and dealing with permits. "This will make it cheaper, faster, and easier to do business in the Asia-Pacific region."
- Further improve supply-chain connectivity by 10 percent in terms of time, cost and uncertainty by addressing identified "chokepoints."
- Continue an APEC program of structural reform to their economies, aimed at simplifying trade rules and customs procedures, and making it easier for business executives to move across borders.
[Source: Reuters, Yokohama, Japan, 13Nov10]
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