United States Policy Goals for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

By Moriarty, Lauren | DISAM Journal, Summer 2005 | Go to article overview
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United States Policy Goals for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

Moriarty, Lauren, DISAM Journal

[The following are excerpts of the remarks presented to Korea Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year Forum and Business Executive Roundtable, Reston Hyatt Regency, Reston, Virginia, February 18, 2005.]

Last year, we got good work done in APEC; this year, we plan to build on that progress. We have distributed the text of a speech I gave in December 2004 [see full text of December 2004 speech at: http://www.state.gov/p/eap/rls/rm/2004/39297.htm.] at the Asia Society that summarized what we accomplished last year. One thing that speech does not capture is the work we have done to strengthen APEC as an institution and encourage implementation of APEC commitments and initiatives. We will continue to work on that this year.

As we gear up for the first APEC meetings of the year, including the first Senior Officials Meeting, it is particularly important that we get your views and suggestions about how APEC and the business community and can work together to enhance the prosperity and security of the region. In 2005, the U.S. priority objectives for APEC are:

* To increase the prosperity of the region through strong support for trade liberalization and facilitation, especially through support to advance the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Doha Development Agenda;

* To strengthen the security of the region by continuing to implement the Bangkok Commitments on Security and improving the security of trade and travel in the APEC region;

* To deepen the work APEC has done to increase transparency and fight corruption in the region; and

* To enhance the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Complementing these priorities are, of course, other objectives, including digital, health and tsunami-related initiatives. Our U.S. goals for APEC mesh well with the goals Korea has articulated as APEC host. We are looking forward to working together very closely with our Korean hosts and with the U.S. business community to advance these goals and make APEC an even more effective institution. As always, a key element of our work in each of these areas will be cooperation with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and with the broader business sector. Let me start by suggesting five areas for cooperation.

* First, are there major initiatives on which we can cooperate? For instance, last year's APEC Anti-Corruption Initiative was a wonderful example of the public and private sectors working on an issue to produce a package much more valuable than the sum of its parts. Leaders made a political commitment to fight corruption. They agreed on a course of action to implement that political commitment. Seven APEC economies pledged a total of more than $10 million to fund implementation of the course of action. And ABAC members made a parallel commitment to conduct their business according to the highest ethical standards. Wow! What a package! How can we extend that this year? Together, can we think of other packages that will have the same big punch?

* Second, some of you have heard about the 2001 "Shanghai Model Port Project" or the 2003 "Bangkok Efficient and Secure Trade Project." We hope to launch one or more such public private demonstration projects in 2005. What ideas do you have?

* Third, are there specific tsunami reconstruction projects in which we can cooperate in APEC?

* Fourth, my colleagues and I want to hear your views on how APEC can help improve the business climate in the region and the bottom line for your business. How can we work with you in APEC working groups and dialogues to make that happen?

* Fifth, and to answer in part my own question, the U.S. government welcomes private sector participation in official APEC meetings, as appropriate. Take the case of APEC's work on trade facilitation last year. The private sector contribution to that dialogue was excellent.

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