Theme and Sub-themes of APEC 2005 by Btoxtoczko

VIEWS: 46 PAGES: 5

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                  Theme and Priorities of APEC 2005


I. Theme and Sub-themes1


         Theme:
              Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change
         Sub-themes:
              Renew the Commitment to the Bogor Goals
              Ensure Transparent and Secure Business Environment
              Build Bridges over Differences

Theme: Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change
The theme of APEC 2005, "Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge and Make the
Change," will clearly present to our audiences, not only in the region but also in the world,
the strenuous will of APEC members to achieve its vision. In 2005 APEC is to continue the
efforts that the previous host economies have made to build one economic community in the
Asia-Pacific region.

Sub-themes
In order to give strong thrust to this theme, three sub-themes were selected to showcase key
areas where APEC needs to focus its efforts in 2005.

Renew the Commitment to the Bogor Goals
The year 2005 will witness APEC take stock of its progress towards the Bogor Goals and
draw a roadmap as a result of the review. Exploring how to incorporate such findings into
APEC's future work plan will be of utmost importance in effectively and efficiently pursuing
free and open trade and investment in the region.

Ensure Transparent and Secure Business Environment
APEC will redouble its efforts in fighting for a clean and safe business environment in the
Asia Pacific region. APEC will be in unity to strenuously fight corruption and terrorism and
to secure a clean and safe trade environment throughout the region so that it will render direct
benefits for business people by lowering transaction costs.

Build Bridges over Differences
APEC members will discuss ways to facilitate the community building process given a wide
spectrum of both economic development and cultural diversity. Economic and technical co-
1
    The theme which had been announced at 2004 AMM was selected based upon the opinions of
    members, stakeholders, APEC fora and experts raised in the International Symposium on APEC
    2005 that Korea as incoming host held in July 2004, Seoul.




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operation, in particular mutual collaboration in capacity building activities, will be a key to
achieving common prosperity. On this basis, it may be necessary to explore further ways to
facilitate mutual understanding, through cultural exchanges that will eventually shorten the
distance among the people and the market of the region and promote trade by dismantling
psychological and emotional barriers.


II. Priorities2

Korea proposes that the following elements be APEC 2005 priorities. They were selected
through close consultations with members and experts, formally and informally, to guarantee
the continuity of APEC’s direction and keep its high level of ambition. Each element
requires action-oriented follow-up in order that APEC, at the end of 2005, may deliver
tangible outcomes to its stakeholders.

                1. Advancing Freer Trade
                   1.1.    Support for the WTO DDA
                   1.2.    Mid-term Stock-take and Future Roadmap to the Bogor Goals
                   1.3     Enhancing APEC’s Leading Role:
                           Trade Facilitation and Capacity Building
                2. Fighting Corruption
                3. Sharing Prosperity of the Knowledge-based Economy:
                   Protecting Innovation and Expanding Digital Opportunity
                4. Human Security:
                   Counter-terrorism, Energy Security, Health and Disaster Response
                   and Preparedness
                5. SMEs and Micro-enterprises, and Gender Integration
                6. APEC Reform
                7. Promoting Cross-cultural Communication

1. Advancing Freer Trade
First and foremost, the trade area will be given APEC’s priority in 2005 in that APEC will
render a strong political support for the WTO DDA, renew its own commitment to the Bogor
Goals through its Midterm Stocktake (MTST) and, as a follow-up, develop a roadmap for
future work plans.

        1.1.     Support for the WTO DDA

2
    This set rather lists up concrete target areas that APEC will produce tangible deliverables in 2005.
    The APEC 2005 priorities are never intended to exclude any important statement and/or
    commitment that APEC members have made so far. This set of priorities does not encompass
    entire work areas that APEC committed itself to work on, either. This list does not include some
    of the paramount important terms like “ECOTECH,” as it is an overarching and generic direction of
    all APEC works rather than a specific target that APEC can harvest in one specific APEC year.




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As the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC-6) is scheduled in December 2005, timing-wise
the 13th AELM and the MRT will be critical for APEC to support trade liberalization
negotiation in the multilateral trading system, helping WTO members reach an agreement on
the modalities of WTO DDA negotiations.
• Building up from the concerted efforts made until 2004 and to be made throughout 2005,
    Ministers/Leaders need to be ready to send a strong political message supporting the
    WTO DDA negotiators.
• Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), in particular, will add critical momentum to the
    Geneva process as June will be the time for the WTO to extensively negotiate technical
    issues with a view to agreeing on the modalities by the MC-6. APEC members will
    work with high level of ambitions to reach a consensus in issuing a strong collective
    message to the WTO.
• As a valuable outlet forum, Geneva APEC Caucus will serve as a perfect office where
    representatives of APEC members discuss to identify what WTO expects from APEC as
    well as what APEC can inject into WTO negotiation.
• Areas where APEC has played a leading role such as trade facilitation and capacity
    building will be thoroughly reviewed so that APEC may identify elements to be
    recommended to WTO negotiations for its reference of codification.

      1.2.     Mid-term Stock-take (MTST) and Future Roadmap to the Bogor Goals
By completing tasks that APEC agreed to undertake, APEC members will have faithfully
implemented two of its primary tasks stated in Shanghai Accord and Santiago Initiatives.
This exercise will highlight how much APEC has achieved and will assess APEC’s
contribution to regional/world freer trade.
• The whole review process will be carried out, in good faith, by SOM itself with special
    devotion of the five co-overseer economies. A steering group will be set up at SOM II.
• SOM will have full scale discussions on this issue at the SOM Symposium to be held in
    the margins of SOM II.
• Tasks remaining towards the Bogor Goals will be included in an APEC’s future roadmap.

      1.3       Enhancing APEC’s Leading Role: Trade Facilitation and Capacity
                Building
Not only to help APEC successfully achieve the Bogor Goals but also to substantially
contribute to the world trading system, greater emphasis will be given to the trade facilitation
agenda and related capacity building activities.
• APEC will take stock of what it has achieved/agreed so far in terms of trade facilitation,
    collectively through the Collective Action Plans (CAPs) and individually through Trade
    Facilitation Action Plans (TFAPs), and seek the way to contribute to the WTO.
• All related fora will be asked to explore further ways to strengthen trade facilitation
    activities in this regard.

2. Fighting Corruption
APEC 2005 will be the year that APEC come to have the anti-corruption element. Based on
the strong support from members in 2004, efforts will be focused on implementation of what
APEC agreed to do.




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•   A task force will be established to house the APEC anti-corruption agenda. The work
    scope and the structure of the task force will be decided and stated in its terms of
    reference (TOR) which is to be agreed upon at SOM I.
•   Based on its own discussions and outcomes from the below-said APEC symposium, the
    task force will center efforts of members to produce meaningful deliverables.
•   An APEC symposium on fighting corruption will be held early September.

3. Sharing Prosperity of the Knowledge-based Economy: Protecting Innovation and
    Expanding Digital Opportunity
This element will cover a broader area related to the Knowledge-based Economy (KBE) and
reinstitute APEC’s emphasis on innovation, science, technology, and most importantly focus
on the following two areas.

Protecting Innovation
In 2005, APEC will take one step further forward in achieving the Intellectual Property Right
(IPR) protection.
• A variety of areas will be touched upon such as piracy, both on line and off line.
• Efforts will be made to build best practices and to enhance capacity building in the areas
    of the enforcement of the IPR. It is expected some economies will take the lead in
    hosting capacity building workshops.

Enhancing digital opportunity
As a mid-point target year of the Brunei Goals, APEC 2005 will highlight once more the
digital opportunity and explore ways to add more value in this regard.
• APEC will take stock what members have done so far, individually and collectively, to
     strengthen the digital opportunity and see if they can do more.

4. Human Security: Counter-terrorism, Energy Security, Health and Disaster Response
   and Preparedness

Human security will remain as one of the top priorities in 2005. Counter-terrorism, among
others, will get full support from member economies, in particular, from the host.
• APEC will redouble its endeavor to fully implement what has been agreed upon and seek
    for additional elements that will strengthen APEC counter-terrorism activities.
• Voices from stakeholders will be respected through STAR III.
• Energy security will also be one of the key elements of the human security. Possibility of
    holding related ministers meeting on energy could be pursued. Roles of lead economies
    will have full support from the host.
• Anther key element of human security, health which includes works against HIV/AIDS,
    will continue to be addressed.
• In the wake of the recent tsunami outbreak, APEC will introduce an element to respond
    to and prepare for possible disasters in the region. A broad range of areas needs to be
    elaborated such as epidemic control, early warning, capacity building, APEC’s role in
    affected industries including fisheries and tourism, and encouragement of members’
    assistance to and participation in the global scale relief activities.




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5. SMEs and Micro-enterprises, and Gender Integration
APEC 2005 will continue to pursue the on-going APEC agenda on SMEs and MEs, bearing
in mind the importance of the SME sector which, in the APEC region, makes up 98 percent
of all enterprises and provides 60 percent of private sector jobs.
• APEC needs to put special emphasis on supporting such SMEs that have innovative and
     creative technologies.
• Outcomes from SMEWG will be respected as 2005 deliverables. The host will rely
     significantly on the concerted leadership of proponent economies.
• APEC will examine the role and contribution of women in regional business and also
     encourage their involvement.

6. APEC Reform
APEC achieved a lot in 2004 in terms of immediate reform planning, and a few on-going
urgent issues will continue to be followed up.
• Among others, APEC needs to have more effective work structure, to secure the
    financial sustainability and to devise out modality/institutionalization/continuation of
    APEC Reform.
• Chair will move to set up an informal small group, namely Friends of the Chair (FOTC),
    to facilitate this exercise by preparing for and leading discussions at SOM.

7. Promoting Cross-cultural Communication
As APEC aims at a community, efforts to encourage sense of solidarity among people in
member economies will be necessary. Strengthened cultural cooperation is, without doubt,
one of the efficient and effective areas that catalyze community building.
• In this context, it is worth holding audience-friendly cultural events where member
    economies’ diverse cultures will be introduced to one another. Korea is seeking a
    possibility for an APEC film fair during 2005.
• It will be further desirable if APEC sets up an ad-hoc Expert Task Force that will put
    forward further recommendations so that SOM may expedite desirable areas that will
    strengthen the sense of membership and also lower psychological barriers among the
    people of member economies.
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