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Big Income Gains in Store if APEC Goals Achieved

“People throughout the APEC region will be substantially better off if APEC members continue to work towards free trade in line with APEC targets,” APEC Economic Committee Chair Dr Mitsuru Taniuchi said today.

The Committee’s Report, “Assessing Trade Liberalisation and Facilitation - 1999 Update,” estimates that regional income would grow by US$75 billion, or 0.4 percent of the region's total GDP, if APEC trade liberalisation and facilitation measures committed to date are fully implemented. This justifies APEC’s continued focus on trade facilitation measures - that is, removing the red-tape barriers that clog up trade.

The addition of various dynamic effects (that is, downstream effects of trade liberalisation, such as a more competitive and innovative business environment) raises regional income by a further US$90-105 billion, or 0.5 - 0.6 per cent of regional GDP. Furthermore, annual income gains could reach US$200 billion, or 1.2 per cent of the region's GDP, if tariffs were completely eliminated.

“The report shows that all APEC economies gain from trade liberalisation and facilitation, including those worst affected by the economic crisis,” Dr Taniuchi said.

End

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