APEC leaders envision an Asia Pacific that overcomes, embraces challenges

November 15, 2010 3:26 am 

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov. 14 — The 21 leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreed to articulate and adopt “Yokohama Vision – Bogor and Beyond” –of further building and integrating the Asia Pacific Region in the 21st century and the paths to realize it.

In the Declaration, which was presented by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan at the conclusion of the 3-day APEC Leaders’ Meeting here, the 21 heads of government and heads of state envisioned an Asia Pacific region that can embrace and overcome challenges, and make full use of opportunities to be more fully integrated, with a higher quality of growth and a safer and more economic environment.

The APEC leaders also seek to develop an APEC community in which trade and investment are freer and more open; supply-chains are better connected; doing business is cheaper, faster, and easier; growth is more balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure, and more able coping with threats to human security and economic activity.

“We aim to establish a solid foundation for prosperity and well-being in the region by promoting stronger and deeper regional integration through furthering our work to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment – the core mission of APEC,” the APEC leaders said.

The APEC leaders also agreed that barriers against the movement of goods, services and capital should be further reduced and business persons should also be able to move more smoothly.

They also agreed to enhance measures that make it cheaper, faster and easier for businesses to trade and operate in the region.

The APEC leaders likewise agreed that — customs-related procedures should be further simplified and harmonized; regulatory cooperation should be broadened and deepened; trade costs should be minimized and bureaucratic inefficiencies removed; and multilateral trading system should be promoted and strengthened.

The APEC leaders also vowed to further enhance the quality of growth so that the Asia-Pacific region can realize sustained growth and continue to be an engine of economic activity and progress in the world economy.

“Policies that promote balanced growth within and among APEC economies should be adopted,” the APEC leaders said adding that all sectors in particular potentially disadvantaged and marginalized groups should be provided opportunities to fully realize their potential.

According to them, both economic growth and environmental sustainability should be advanced in a holistic manner, and progress toward a green economy should be accelerated by promoting trade and investment in environmental goods and services, developing this sector in APEC economies, and enhancing energy efficiency and sustainable forest management and rehabilitation.

“Innovative growth should be advanced within and across our economies through the adoption of policies and regulatory environments that best enable the economies to support innovation, utilize information and communication technologies, develop a skilled workforce, and increase research and development,” the APEC leaders said.

On securing the community, the APEC leaders committed to build a regional community in which people can live without the fear of poverty, violence, crime, disease, and hunger while freely engaged in economic activity, even as they underscored the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

“Our economies’ capacity to minimize natural and human risks to economic activity should be enhanced and a secure and resilient economic environment should be achieved,” the APEC leaders said, stressing that poverty should be reduced to maintain the intrinsic dignity of the human condition. (PNA)



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