Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 15: A Conversation with The Honorable NEVILLE WRAN
Page 150 15 A Conversation with The Honorable NEVILLE WRAN Q. People have been trying to describe APEC by saying what it is not—neither EU, nor NAFTA. One of your fellow EPG members has called it a moving target and thus hard to define. How would you define APEC? A. The terminology which first defines APEC is economic regionalization based upon the concept of voluntary association with its focus upon free trade in the region. It is a term one will see frequently in the first EPG Report and occasionally in the second EPG Report. Its structure is flexible and with no compulsory overtones in relation to specific objectives or decisions. The purpose of APEC is to facilitate trade between its 18 membercountries. Q. How would you distinguish between the two expressions—free trade area and free trade in the area? A. In my view, a free trade area connotes an association of membercountries at the expense of nonmembers, with free trade within the defined region or among the defined countries, but with sanctions and nonextension of benefits to nonmember countries. Free trade in an area means that among the membernations in the specific area there will be an absence of impediments, direct and indirect, to free trade. Then, there is a capacity for membernations to extend to nonmembernations the benefits which are available to the members in the area. Indeed, the steps for trade liberalization, as defined within the...
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