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APEC Leaders Boost Air Services Liberalisation

Rt Hon Jenny Shipley
Prime Minister
New Zealand
Chair, APEC New Zealand 99

Media Release Monday 13 September 1999 For immediate release

APEC Leaders today took a significant step towards a global air services market that increases air services usage and better meets consumer needs, the Rt Hon Jenny Shipley said today.

"APEC Leaders supported eight specific steps to take the region closer to an open market in air services," Mrs Shipley said.

"By agreeing to support the proposals developed by APEC's Transportation Working Group, Leaders have moved towards a more competitive and responsive air services industry."

Four of the working group's proposals have been tagged for priority action:

Eliminating restrictions on air-related services, such as ground handling and computer reservations;

Removing barriers to air freight service providers, whose capacities and rates are currently set by governments;

Allowing multiple airline designation, increasing competition in domestic and international markets; and

Allowing airlines to co-operate with each other through ventures such as code sharing.

Mrs Shipley said it was encouraging that all APEC economies had agreed to take on liberalisation measures, given the pressures they faced to protect their airline industries.

"Leaders recognise the benefits of freeing up air services. Opportunities to trade and travel are expanded, opening the way for the economic growth at the core of APEC's overall objective," she said.

In 1997, 33 of the world's 50 largest airlines were from APEC economies. That year, those airlines carried a total of 789 million passengers and generated combined revenue of US$172 billion.

In addition to these immediate moves, Leaders agreed to identify further steps to liberalise air services in accordance with APEC's Bogor goals, opening up the prospect of free trade and investment in air services sometime in the future.

The APEC Air Services Group first proposed air services liberalisation initiatives in 1997.

End


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