Challenges to Economic Cooperation
Chapter 23: APEC Vision: Action Agenda/Action Plan
Page 204 23 APEC Vision: Action Agenda/Action Plan APEC VISION The creation of a true economic community in the AsiaPacific region has been at the core of APEC vision. The pronouncement was loud and clear that the Asia Pacific Community would not seek to replicate the EU by way of establishing “a single internal market” with an agenda for a common currency. The Community would seek to optimize economic gains for all membercountries by an active intraregional trade liberalization program, reiterating its commitment to global trade liberalization under GATT and WTO. The vision was for a “marketdriven” AsiaPacific regional integration. To this end, the APEC EPG Report (APEC, 1993) stated that the AsiaPacific region should develop with focus on: l l l l l l l an investment code, a dispute settlement process, a greater coordination of macroeconomic policies, cooperation on competition policy, harmonization of product standards, customs laws, environmental cooperation, and a trade and investment framework with proper “rules of origin’’. The APEC Leaders’ Summit in 1994 (APEC, 1994) went on to further streamline the APEC vision “on the basis of equal partnership, shared responsibility, mutual respect, common interest and common benefit”. There was a reaffirmation of the position that APEC will not be “a single internal market” as is the case in the EU, and that APEC’s goal would be a GATT/WTOconsistent comprehensive free trade regime in the region with the provision for “flexible implementation”, given the varying levels of economic development...
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