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13th APEC Ministerial Meeting - Joint Statement

JOINT STATEMENT of THE 13th APEC MINISTERIAL MEETING
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

THE THIRTEENTH APEC MINISTERIAL MEETING
Shanghai, People's Republic of China

JOINT STATEMENT

1. Ministers from Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; the People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Republic of the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States and Viet Nam participated in the Thirteenth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Shanghai on 17-18 October 2001. The APEC Secretariat was present. The Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) attended as observers.

2. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and H.E. Mr. Shi Guangsheng, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, of the People's Republic of China. The theme for APEC 2001 was: "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation". The agenda of the meeting was structured to reflect the three sub-themes of APEC 2001: a. Advancing Trade and Investment; b. Sharing the Benefits of Globalization and the New Economy; and c. Promoting Sustainable Economic Growth.

3. Since the end of last year, the slowdown in the United States, Japan and Europe has dampened the prospect of global and regional economy, with some members in the region affected considerably by the declining global demand. The recent terrorist attacks in the United States risk undermining some industries as well as consumer confidence. In the face of the less favorable global and regional economic environment, Ministers affirmed their confidence in the medium and long-term prospects of growth in the APEC region and agreed to strengthen cooperation to tackle the short-term economic difficulties. In this connection, Ministers reaffirmed the importance of promoting dialogue and cooperation with a view to achieving sustainable and common development. In addition, Ministers emphasized the importance of achieving the Bogor goals in accordance with the agreed timetables as a key element of APEC's response to current economic conditions, and stressed the importance of structural reform and sound domestic policies to create a more favorable macro-economic environment for growth in the region.

Advancing Trade and Investment

Strengthening the multilateral trading system

4. Ministers firmly underlined their commitment to open regionalism and strong support for an open, equitable, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system, as represented by the WTO.

5. Ministers reaffirmed the strong commitment to launch the WTO new round of multilateral trade negotiations in 2001. Given the global economic slowdown, Ministers agreed on the critical importance and urgency of successfully launching the round at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference to reenergize the global trading system.

6. Ministers called on parties concerned to demonstrate strong political will and flexibility in agreeing on a balanced and sufficiently broad-based agenda to launch the new round, which should include further trade liberalization and the strengthening of WTO rules and reflect the interests and concerns of all members especially those of the developing ones,address the challenges in the 21st century and support the goal of sustainable development. Ministers urged that the new round focus on trade-related issues, including existing WTO rules and not duplicate the work of other international organizations. They further agreed that internal transparency within WTO will facilitate the participation of all members.

7. Ministers reaffirmed that the concerns of developing economies should be addressed through the effective implementation of special and differential treatment and ongoing effort for capacity building and technical assistance so as to facilitate their full participation in the WTO.

8. Ministers reaffirmed APEC's determination on expediting the full and effective implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements and commitments, and called on the WTO to give due consideration to the concerns of members, especially developing ones, on the implementation issues emanating from the Uruguay Round agreements and commitments when formulating the agenda for the new round.

9. Recalling previous Leaders' Declarations and Ministerial Statements, Ministers reaffirmed that APEC would actively and constructively contribute to the mandated WTO negotiations on agriculture and services.

10. Ministers reiterated their commitment to continuing to contribute to the WTO work on industrial tariffs and other related areas, without prejudice to the overall agenda for negotiations.

11. Ministers agreed to continue mobilizing APEC's expertise to maintain and enhance the momentum of the WTO negotiations on services. In this respect, they recognized the progress made in 2001 on the APEC Menu of Options for Voluntary Liberalization, Facilitation and Promotion of Economic and Technical Cooperation in Services Trade and Investment, which will continue in 2002. Ministers expected this work to make an important contribution to the on-going WTO negotiations.

12. Ministers undertook to refrain from using measures that increase levels of trade protectionism. To this end, they reaffirmed their commitment to the APEC-wide moratorium on the imposition of custom duties on electronic transmissions until the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference, and agreed to extend the moratorium until the Fifth Ministerial Conference. Ministers also supported a vigorous continuation of the WTO's work program on E-commerce.

13. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the implementation of APEC WTO-related capacity building Strategic Plan, as an unique, substantial and value-adding contribution to strengthening the participation of developing economies in the multilateral trading system, improving the implementation of existing commitments, and building confidence for a WTO new round. They recognized the initiative as a concrete example of the way in which technical and economic cooperation in APEC and the policy commitment to trade liberalization can be mutually reinforcing. In this regard, Ministers commended progress made on a number of projects and noted that twelve TILF projects in support of the plan have received funding this year. They stressed the need for new projects to be accorded continued priority in allocating the APEC TILF fund in accordance with the established TILF approval process, decided that both developed and developing members would continue to prioritize as appropriate the plan in the developmental programs, and affirmed the importance of involving bilateral development agencies, relevant regional and international organizations including WTO, ADB and World Bank in implementing the plan.

14. Ministers congratulated China on the successful conclusion of negotiations on its accession to the WTO. They urged that China's accession be finalized at the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Conference. Ministers also reiterated strong support for approval of accession to the WTO by Chinese Taipei at that Conference and the advancement of WTO accession by the Russian Federation and Viet Nam. Ministers supported the participation of all acceding economies in the new round of WTO negotiations.

Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation (TILF)

Individual Action Plans

15. Reaffirming the central role of Individual Action Plans (IAPs) in achieving APEC's trade and investment liberalization and facilitation goals, Ministers commended the refinements and improvements made to the e-IAP system to enhance its functionality and user friendliness. They also welcomed the presentation of 2001 IAPs by member economies in the e-IAP system and recognized the usefulness of delivering further technical assistance in their preparation. Ministers encouraged member economies to publicize the new e-IAP system to their business communities and work with the private sector to ensure that the system meets its needs. They commended the Russian Federation for the submission of its IAP for peer review this year.

16. Acknowledging the need for the IAP peer review process to be further strengthened, Ministers endorsed the proposal for strengthening the IAP peer review process, including organizing the IAP Review Teams to conduct studies of economies under review. The new process is aimed at increasing the rigor of the peer review regime and encouraging member economies to make greater progress in achieving the Bogor Goals. They affirmed that the principle of voluntarism should be respected. For this purpose, they decided to use the APEC funding including the TILF special account through the funding approval process. Ministers welcomed the offer made by Mexico and Japan to submit their IAPs for review under the new peer review process in 2002. They also called on other member economies to actively participate in this process.

Review of OAA Part I

17. As a major roadmap providing the guidelines for achieving the Bogor Goals, the OAA must remain relevant for APEC to face the emerging global challenges and to seize new opportunities in the new century. Ministers thus endorsed the updated OAA Part I, which reflects the new changes and developments in the area of trade liberalization and facilitation since 1995. The major elements include a commitment to progressive reduction of tariffs until the Bogor goals are fully achieved, a commitment to progressively reducing NTMs to the maximum extent possible to minimize possible distortion to trade, and a commitment in the services area to provide for the fair and transparent development, adoption and application of regulations and regulatory procedures in regulated service sectors. Ministers further underlined the strategic significance of the updated of OAA Part I in providing a long-term framework for advancing to APEC TILF agenda. Ministers encouraged member economies to take the updated OAA Part I into account when updating their IAPs for 2002 and beyond.

Collective Action Plan

18. Ministers approved and endorsed the Annual Report of the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and the revised/enhanced Collective Action Plans (CAPs) it contains. Emphasizing the importance of the CAPs in ensuring APEC is on track towards Bogor Goals, Ministers welcomed the commendable progress CTI made in implementing CAPs in 2001 and highlighted some key achievements, which included, ? the further expansion of the CAPs to intensify work on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs); ? the completion of APEC Principles on Trade Facilitation; ? the completion of the new CAPs on Intellectual Property Rights; ? the completion of the review and revision of the Mid-term Technical Infrastructure Development Program; and ? the completion of an assessment/evaluation of the thirteen SCCP CAP items.

19. Ministers welcomed the progress report and its achievements from the APEC Automotive Dialogue and encouraged the Dialogue to continue its work. They took note of the ongoing reform and economic and technical cooperation activities in the automotive sector. Ministers also took note of the establishment of the Chemical Dialogue and welcomed Mexico's offer to host the first Chemical Dialogue in 2002.

20. Ministers welcomed the report APEC Economies Breaking Down the Barriers: Case studies in regulatory and administrative reforms, which indicated that the reforms undertaken by APEC members had generated significant economic benefits. Ministers also noted the importance of adopting the revised Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, and encouraged the adoption of the Convention at the earliest possible opportunity.

21. Ministers directed CTI to continue to give priority in its 2002 work program, to producing tangible deliverables in CAPs, as envisaged in the Osaka Action Agenda.

22. Ministers welcomed the success of the Second APEC Investment Mart held in Yantai, the People's Republic of China, during 9-15 June 2001. They reiterated the importance of ensuring stable investment flows into the APEC region. In this regard, Ministers welcomed the offer by the Russian Federation and Thailand to host the Third and the Fourth APEC Investment Marts in 2002 and in 2003 respectively. Ministers also welcomed the project to review current literature on cross-border mergers and acquisitions to enable better understanding of its development on investment flows.

23. Emphasizing the benefits of trade facilitation, Ministers instructed officials to identify concrete actions and measures to implement the APEC Trade Facilitation Principles in 2002 to promote the flow of goods and services in the region, and stressed that capacity-building should remain a central component of APEC's work on trade facilitation.

24. Recognizing the importance of enhancing the mobility of business people as a means to facilitate APEC trade and investment goals, Ministers noted the progress made in the APEC Business Travel Card Scheme and welcomed the participation of the People's Republic of China and Chinese Taipei in the scheme, leading to a majority of APEC members being part of the Scheme. Ministers also commended the progress of capacity building strategies towards implementing streamlined border processing of genuine travelers, and noted the multilateral Advance Passenger Processing (APP) trial as a new technology standard in regional travel facilitation system. Ministers supported the Informal Experts' Group on the Mobility of Business People (IEGBM) capacity building strategies, which uses agreed standards for economies to improve their immigration capacity and contributes to the APEC goals of facilitating trade and investment.

25. Ministers emphasized the importance of strengthening competition in the APEC region and welcomed the Mexican proposal to host a training program in 2002 on promoting competition in regulated sectors so as to enhance interaction among APEC economies in this field. Ministers also welcomed the proposal of Mexico to hold a workshop on regional and bilateral investment rules and agreements.

26. Ministers praised the work that the CTI has done over the past year and expressed appreciation to Mr. Joe Damond for his contribution as CTI Chair. Ministers also welcomed Ms. Ng Kim Neo to serve as the CTI Chair for the next two years commencing in 2002.(more)

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