Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 11: A Conversation with SUHADI MANGKUSUWONDO
Page 122 11 A Conversation with SUHADI MANGKUSUWONDO Q. Will you please define in your own words what APEC is? A. APEC is a forum for trade liberalization; a forum for promoting a global kind of system by way of inducing as many countries as possible to join the liberalization of the world trading system. Indonesia began by inviting other countries to join in its effort in this regard. APEC is to be distinguished from both the European Union and the North American Free Trade Area. Q. There has been some confusion about the two expressions: ‘‘free trade area” and “free trade in the area”. How do they differ? A. The term, “free trade area”, is more or less a standard term in order to get provisions for free trade among membercountries, that is, a group of countries moving together towards a free trade arrangement among themselves, fulfilling the sanctions under Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Once you fulfill all the requirements of Article 24, especially with no provision for raising trade barriers against nonmembers of the group, you have the FTA. Trade liberalization privileges are only available to the members themselves. The term “free trade in the area” has a special meaning. That is not what we had in mind when we talked about free trade in Indonesia to begin with. The concept of free trade in the area is unique. For the membercountries, it is a move toward free trade...
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