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NZ Chair Appointed to APEC Economic Committee

NZ Chair Appointed to APEC Economic Committee

News Release Issued by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Committee

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, September 24, 2006 -- Professor Bob Buckle from New Zealand has been selected as the new Chair of the APEC Economic Committee starting in 2007.

An award wining economist and Principal Advisor at the New Zealand Treasury, Professor Buckle said ensuring that APEC members engage in the regional economy will be one of the priorities of his work as Chair.

“As a policy advisor at the New Zealand Treasury, it is clear to me that no economy can afford to set domestic policy in a vacuum,” Professor Buckle said after being named as Chair.

“In a world that is becoming more globally connected, what your key trading partners do matters a great deal to your own economy's performance.”

Professor Buckle warned that trade barriers are not the only constraint to conducting business in the APEC region and the global economy.

“Behind-the-border conditions can have an equally significant impact on the ability of economies to trade with each other”, Professor Buckle said.

“Reducing behind-the-border barriers to trade, and promoting other forms of economic cooperation, will help to lift the growth performance of the region and contribute to greater regional integration.

“Both the reduction of trade barriers, and implementation of structural reforms that improve trading conditions within economies, will also enhance the region's ability to withstand adverse economic shocks, such as the recent increase in oil prices.”

With the Economic Committee mandated to coordinate structural reform activities across the APEC process, Professor Buckle said his goal would be to promote high-quality economic policy dialogue in APEC. This will facilitate well-targeted structural reforms within economies which will make it easier and more desirable to do business in the region.

“To be successful at promoting structural reform, the EC needs a medium-term policy agenda that focuses not only on improving regulatory efficiency, but also one that focuses on strengthening economic infrastructure.”

Professor Buckle said he was honored to be elected Chair of such an important Committee and to be contributing to APEC’s ongoing achievements.

“APEC has made considerable progress on trade liberalisation in the last decade.

“These trade developments have been a significant factor contributing to both economic growth in the region as well as to the region's rising importance as an engine of world economic growth.”

Professor Buckle currently leads the New Zealand Treasury’s programme on macroeconomic policy priorities and research and is Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Professor Buckle is also the recipient of the 2003 NZIER Economics Award for his contributions to economics in New Zealand.

Appointed by a consensus decision by the APEC Senior Officials meeting in Viet Nam, the position of APEC Economic Committee Chair is for a period of two years. The committee meets two times each year.

Ends

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