Apec free trade pact pushed
Business leaders from the Asia-Pacific rim want talks for the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) fast-tracked to drive economic growth in the region.
“Asia Pacific business leaders have expressed concern that, unless Apec [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] stays committed to meeting the Bogor Goals of free and open trade by 2020, accelerate infrastructure development and promote innovation, the growth and prosperity ambitions they share in the region would not be realized,” the Apec Business Advisory Council (ABAC) warned in a statement issued after its meeting in Seattle last week.
ABAC is in the thick of preparing the recommendations it will present at the Apec Summit to be held in Beijing, China, this November.
“It has been seven years since Apec leaders adopted our recommendation that Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) would be the most effective means for achieving the Bogor Goals. It’s about time that Apec takes greater strategic leadership to bring the FTAAP into reality starting with a roadmap,” said Ning Gaoning, ABAC chair for 2014.
Gaoning said ABAC was “ready to be part of the process and provide business inputs” in FTAAP discussions.
ABAC also urged partnerships between Apec governments and the private sector to develop infrastructure.
Created in 1995, ABAC is considered as the “primary voice of business in Apec.” It is comprised of three business leaders each from Apec’s 21 member-economies.
Apec groups Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.