2007 Perth - On APEC
Note: This policy statement was issued during the 73rd CACCI General Council Meeting in Perth, Australia.
The Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI):
1. Recognises the critical importance of the annual APEC Leaders meeting to the viability of the APEC processes and supports their continuity. Absent the Leaders meetings, we would be greatly concerned at the future of the APEC processes;
2. Recommends APEC Leaders commission a practical report on reforming and streamlining APEC to ensure its longer term practicability as a mechanism for promoting regional cooperation and deliver concrete outcomes in trade facilitation and liberalisation;
3. Recommends Leaders, to enhance the credibility of APEC, in their formal statements should move away from ‘new announceables’ (visions statements of new goals or programs) toward ‘deliverables’ (statements of what APEC has achieved, especially of trade and economic importance to business and society in member countries);
4. Calls on APEC Leaders to consider carefully their individual and collective capacities to deliver a high quality Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) within a reasonable period of time;
5. Recommends in the area of trade liberalisation, APEC Leaders task Trade Ministers from member countries to identify best practice standards for 2
6. Preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in their core provisions, with achievable recommendations for the minimisation or amelioration of ‘worst practice’ and practical advice for the movement from current to best practice;
7. Proposes APEC rebalance its program of work to give greater emphasis to delivering meaningful outcomes in the area of trade facilitation. Whilst trade facilitation may be relatively unglamorous area of trade diplomacy and international relations, it remains the area within APEC most likely to deliver meaningful outcomes to business in, and through it the societies of, APEC member countries;
8. Calls on APEC Leaders to establish a Working Group comprising business representatives outside of the ABAC structure (such as CACCI and eastern Pacific representative organizations) to identify opportunities for APEC to better balance and facilitate business linkages and also build strategic relationships with other regional groupings like South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); and,
9. Recommends the current moratorium on new membership be lifted, and amongst the consideration of a number of applications, India be admitted as a full member of APEC by resolution of APEC Leaders at their meeting in Sydney, Australia, in September 2007. As an interim step, the Indian Prime Minister be invited to attend that meeting.
July 26, 2007, Perth, Australia