Reviving the APEC agenda

There’s a grow­ing vol­ume of demand for a ratio­nal­i­sa­tion of the bilat­er­al trade strate­gies being pur­sued by gov­ern­ments all around the Pacif­ic basin. I’ve “argued”:http://www.petergallagher.com.au/article/310/whats-the-point that Aus­tralia has both the tech­nol­o­gy and con­nec­tions to begin to build a bet­ter approach, per­haps tak­ing advan­tage of the exist­ing APEC frameworks—although not the failed APEC agen­da of uni­lat­er­al free-trade. The “APEC Busi­ness Adv­sio­ry Council”:http://207.44.185.58/ (ABAC) has now issued a state­ment express­ing its con­cern and propos­ing that APEC gov­ern­ments revive the a region-wide trade lib­er­al­iza­tion push to elim­i­nate all bar­ri­ers oth­er than tar­iffs and quo­tas. bq. [The Coun­cil chair­man] said APEC was increas­ing­ly being side­lined by pref­er­en­tial bilat­er­al trade agree­ments. About 40 had been con­clud­ed or were being con­sid­ered by APEC mem­bers. “This pro­pos­al takes account of not just the mul­ti­plic­i­ty of these bilat­er­al trade agree­ments, but is also a response to con­cerns about the frag­men­ta­tion of the bipo­lar char­ac­ter of APEC, with each side of the Pacif­ic going its own way,” he said. (“The Couri­er Mail”:http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,10562001%5E462,00.html) You can see the full media release from ABAC “here”:http://www.apecsec.org.sg/apec/news___media/media_releases/200804_abacauckland.html

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