At the conclusion of the 21st APEC Economic Leaders Meeting held in Bali from October 7-8, 2013, that included 21 heads of state and 4 observer countries, Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono, Chair of the Summit Retreat, emerged around noon on Tuesday, October 8, and informed the press that discussions among leaders proceeded smoothly and productively. APEC leaders deliberations centered on the theme of APEC 2013, being: “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth.”
Based on year-long meetings among APEC officials and senior officials, and final meeting of APEC leaders in Bali, the Summit leaders have agreed and are committed to 7 Strategic Points, which are:
FIRST, APEC Leaders agreed to redouble efforts to attain the Bogor Goals in 2020, sharing the view that all APEC economies must continue to gain from the APEC cooperation.
In line with this commitment, it was agreed to take further steps in empowering, engaging and opening opportunities for all stakeholders, to participate in the APEC process and gain benefits from it.
SECOND, Increase intra-APEC trade or intra-regional trade, including through trade facilitation, capacity building, and the functioning of a multilateral trade system. This reference to the multilateral trade system is a recognition that although the promotion of such intra-APEC trade cooperation brings concrete benefit to the APEC economies, the success of the multilateral regime remains very critical. In this regard, it was agreed on a Declaration which supports the multilateral trading system.
We also agreed to ensure the success of the upcoming Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in December 2013, disclosed the President.
THIRD, we agreed to accelerate APEC’s physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity. In this regard, we envision a strategic landscape for connectivity in our region through the development and investment in infrastructure.
We shared the view that connectivity could help reduce production and transportation costs, strengthen regional supply-chain, and improve business climate in the region. And at the same time, infrastructure and connectivity building will create more jobs and ensure job security.
FOURTH, we reaffirmed our commitment to achieving a strong, balanced, sustainable and inclusive global growth. In the process, we agreed to facilitate the enhanced participation of Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs), youth, and women entrepreneurs. These SMMEs are the backbone of our economy.
FIFTH, in view of the scarcity of our finite resources, we agreed to cooperate in enhancing regional food, energy, and water security. This effort is also aimed at responding to the challenge of population growth and the adverse impact of climate change. At this Bali Summit, we began to look at this matter in a holistic manner.
SIXTH, the Meeting further agreed to ensure APEC’s synergy and complementarity with other multilateral and regional processes, such as the East Asia Summit and G20. This is essential as our world is marked by multiple architectures of economic partnerships.
And SEVENTH, we agreed that close collaboration with the business sector through ABAC is essential to achieve the objective of a free and open trade and investment. Close collaboration will result in a win-win situation, especially at the time when the global economy has yet to fully recover.
Now that we have all these agreements and commitments, we must show the world that APEC will continue to play a significant role in global economy.
At the end of his speech, President Yudhoyono expressed his heartfelt thanks to all the Leaders and delegations for their continued support during Indonesia’s APEC chairmanship.
He also thanked all who made the Bali APEC Summit a resounding success, the ABAC business delegations, the APEC Secretariat, and of course the Organizing Committee. And above all to the people of Bali for their extraordinary support and hospitality.
China hosts APEC 2014
At the close of APEC 2013, Indonesia handed over the APEC chairmanship to China, host of APEC 2014. Next to Beijing, the administrative region of Hong Kong will also become host of the APEC Finance Ministers Meeting in September 2014.
The series of APEC Meetings in 2014 will cover the APEC CEO Summit, the APEC Business Advisory Council Forum (ABAC), the China-APEC, the APEC Forum for SMEs, the APEC Forum for Young Entrepreneurs, and the Discussion Forum between Ministers and the Business sector.
This year China sent the largest delegation to the Bali APEC Summit, totaling 200 persons from among the 1,200 CEOs attending the Conference. In accepting the chairmanship, the government of China ensured that hotel facilities and conference venues for next year’s Meetings will be of international standard with the same high quality as provided by Indonesia in Bali
Last year 2012, APEC was held in Russia.
What is APEC?
APEC (the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) was established in Canberra, Australia in 1989, and is aimed to strengthen economic growth and strengthen relations among international communities in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC membership focuses on economic regions rather than on country membership.
Today APEC has 21 economic members which also include Hong Kong (China) and Taiwan. APEC members are: the United States of America, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chinese Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. All members have coastlines facing the Pacific Ocean.
APEC works to build anti-protection measures among its members while reducing tariffs and eliminating drawbacks to free trade. There are no written agreements to be signed during APEC since members are bound through consensus while cooperation is based on the Bogor Goals that was agreed upon in 1994. In it was agreed that the forum was formed to create free and open trade to increase foreign investment in member countries, in the year 2010 for economic advanced countries, and in 2020 for emerging economies.
The existence of APEC as an increasingly significant global economic power, continues to be recognized throughout the world.