Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Economic and Technical Co-Operation

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Economic and Technical Co-Operation

Article excerpt

Given the stalling of reform in the trade and investment area, the development co-operation part of APEC's agenda has received extra attention, and in some ways it is now at the core of the organization's activities. The Asian crisis also persuaded a number of key decision-makers that economic reform could only be successful if countries are adequately prepared for it. This involves capacity-building of various kinds --- in the financial services area, in human resources of all kinds, in physical infrastructure, energy, and a variety of other areas. Indeed, some would argue that without this capacity-building first, liberalization could often be quite dangerous for the country concerned. Less developed countries have particular concerns here, and many worry that without successful capacity-building continued globalization will result in a widening of the income gap between rich and poor countries.

The APEC working groups have initiated some 250 projects in a wide range of areas, but these have had only limited impact for various reasons:9

Excessive diffusion of limited resources. Many projects are very small, they are spread across too many different areas, and there is frequent overlap and lack of co-ordination. …

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