Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 17: A Conversation with Dato NOORDIN SOPIEE
Page 164 17 A Conversation with Dato NOORDIN SOPIEE Q. Let us begin by referring to the Miami Initiative, that is, the Conference of all hemispheric states in North and South America (except Cuba) in Miami, December 1994, and its impact, if any, on APEC. A. Let me first be on record that my responses must be considered completely personal, in no way that of the government of Malaysia. The Miami initiative is quite a natural event. There are so many regional organizations—the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the European Union in Western Europe, others in Central Europe, in Eastern Europe. Just as globalism is real, so is nationalism, and also regionalism. These are natural manifestations of people and countries who for political, economic or other reasons are trying to join together to better the economic conditions of their peoples. It is very natural for this to happen. In fact, in historical terms it is a natural manifestation of something that started with the Monroe Doctrine in the nineteenth century. Some people get very upset—by it for various reasons, of course, understandable reasons. Q. Does the Miami Initiative relate to your 1992 initiative? Does it now encourage you to convene another PanAsian economic cooperation convention, as you did in 1992? A. I think that it doesn’t encourage us, nor does it discourage us to do what should be done. An Asian initiative will be considered a natural course of events. I think that it is natural...
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