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Comments on the Leaders Declaration

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

13 September 1999

THE AUCKLAND CHALLENGE

Comments on the Leaders Declaration

Thank you. Welcome to the Auckland Museum. It is now my privilege to summarise the key points of the Leaders' Declaration.

Our meeting marks ten years of unprecedented cooperation throughout APEC. This year we have sought to create a strong platform for our second decade.

The performance and prospects of our economies have improved since we last met last year, but we are not complacent about the risks in recovery.

Accordingly we will strengthen our markets and improve the international framework governing trade and investment flows.

People and their prosperity have been to the forefront of our discussions.

We particularly welcome the more active participation of women and business in APEC's work this year.

Supporting Growth through Strong and Open Markets

We reconfirm today our commitment to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2010/2020.

We must also strengthen our markets, and have endorsed new APEC initiatives and Principles of Enhanced Competition and Regulatory Reform.

We endorse our Finance Ministers' work to strengthen domestic financial markets in order to attract the return of capital to our region.

As a result of our discussions this morning, and as an additional element to our Declaration, Leaders today agreed that Finance Ministers should work, in collaboration with other relevant organisations, in order to develop a set of banking standards for consideration and possible adoption by APEC economies.



Individual actions are the principal means by which we will achieve APEC's goals.

We accept business call for our Individual Action Plans to be more specific, transparent and comprehensive.

We instruct Ministers to give priority to trade facilitation next year and, as an additional initiative to that which is in the Declaration, we have today instructed Ministers to intensify efforts to eliminate associated non-tariff impediments to trade.

We will give special attention this coming year to improving APEC's economic and technical co-operation programmes.

We want to narrow the development gap among Asia/Pacific economies.

We welcome and endorse our Ministers' recommendations on the APEC Food System.

We recognise the key role that electronic commerce will play in linking our economies, and adopt the APEC Y2K 100 Days Cooperation Initiative to share information and expertise about Y2K impacts on critical infrastructures.

APEC in the Global Economy

We welcome initiatives by our Finance Ministers to strengthen the architecture of the international financial system.

We commit ourselves to the launch of a new Round of multilateral trade negotiations, including:

comprehensive negotiations on industrial tariffs, in addition to services and agriculture,

improved market access,

completion within three years as a single package the abolition of agricultural export subsidies and unjustifiable export prohibitions and restrictions

We call for early progress in the accession negotiations to the WTO, including for those APEC economies that are not yet WTO members.

Participation in Prosperity

We recognise our responsibilities to ensure successful participation of our people in the modern economy.

Income and wealth disparities between and within economies can pose a challenge for social stability and we welcome the efforts to address social safety net issues and maintain employment and environmentally sustainable growth.

We welcome the Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC - a significant step to enhance the ability of women to contribute to and to benefit from prosperity in the region.

We welcome the recommendations of the APEC Business Advisory Council, including specific measures to further liberalise air services in the region.

Conclusion

We embark on APEC's second decade confident that an enduring spirit of openness, partnership and community is being built.

The purpose of our work together is to improve the incomes and the wellbeing of our people within APEC.

In order to achieve that, we challenge our economies to strengthen our markets.

We challenge the world to move to freer trade.

And we challenge ourselves as Leaders to bring our people with us to broaden support for the work of APEC.

That is the Auckland challenge. We accept that challenge today.

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