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Counter-terrorism measures a focus at APEC


Counter-terrorism measures a focus at APEC Ministerial meeting

Counter-terrorism, already an agenda item at the APEC Ministerial meeting, will assume even greater relevance in the wake of the Bali bombing, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff.

“Last year in Shanghai, APEC leaders agreed in the Statement on Counter-terrorism to cooperate more on counter-terrorism in key areas affecting trade, investment, travel and tourism.

“Ministers this year will consider a framework of enhanced security and trade facilitation. This will include strengthened customs and immigration enforcement; a cyber security strategy to protect the integrity of communication and information systems; and an Action Plan on Combating the Financing of Terrorism.

“While Bali will emphasise the need for an ongoing strengthening of security measures, Ministers will also want to ensure that this does not undermine efforts to facilitate the movement of people and goods through the region.

“There is an enormous economic cost associated with terrorism. The direct costs of September 11 in lost assets and clean up costs alone were some US$28 billion, as well as the impact on loss of jobs, consumer confidence and tourism flows.

“Counter-terrorism measures themselves have an economic cost because of the imposition of new controls.

“At APEC, Ministers will have to consider how to assist vulnerable economies which will struggle to meet deadlines for enhanced security because of cost or lack of expertise.

“Another key issue on the APEC agenda includes actions through which APEC can contribute to a successful WTO round. These will include the need to reduce and eliminate agricultural export subsidies; intellectual property rights and their impact on the cost of drugs; and anti-dumping.

“The third key topic is how to improve economic and technical cooperation and capacity building so as to benefit all countries and build partnerships.

“It will be critical to move the developing economies forward to ensure prosperity and the benefits of trade are shared by all, if we are to achieve a stable and peaceful world, “ Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff arrives in Los Cabos, Mexico tomorrow and will attend the Ministerial meeting and a series of bilateral meetings with other Foreign Ministers on the 24th and 25th October (New Zealand time).

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton is also attending the APEC Ministerial meeting and Prime Minister Helen Clark will arrive for the Leaders’ meeting, commencing Friday.

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