Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 21: A Conversation with MOHAMED ARIFF
Page 186 21 A Conversation with MOHAMED ARIFF Q. The APEC Bogor Summit in 1994 was a great success. How would you describe APEC in your own way? A. APEC had its turning point in Seattle in 1993. For the first time at Seattle, the meeting of the Heads of APEC membercountries was called a summit. Now the annual APEC summit appears to have become an institution. Four more annual summits—Osaka, Canada, Manila, Kuala Lumpur—in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively, have been scheduled. APEC is no longer a loosely structured informal grouping. It is now a formally structured institution, a formal intraregional organization. In the past, APEC was considered simply a forum where issues of common interest were discussed and its decisions were not binding. Since Seattle, 1993 at annual APEC summits, participation by the Heads of its memberstates has contributed to its much higher institutional visibility. Personally, I’m all for APEC. The gravity of the world economy has been shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Pacific Basin has become the new dynamo of the world economy and all projections point to the fact that it will continue to be the center of growth in the twentyfirst century. Clearly, U.S. economic activities within the Pacific continue to grow and have become a dominant share of its overall international trade and investment. In that sense, APEC is simply a response to the market trends. The pace is being set by the market forces,...
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