Challenge remains in achieving Bogor Goals

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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders adopted a statement on 2010 Bogor Goals assessment Sunday at the end of their two-day meeting in Yokohama, in which they recognized the progress but noted more work remains to be done.

In the statement, APEC leaders agreed 13 target economies, or the 2010 economies including five industrialized economies and eight volunteer developing economies, have made significant progress toward achieving the Bogor Goals.

In 1994, APEC Leaders announced in Bogor, Indonesia to commit to achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies, which later became known as the Bogor Goals.

Since then, the 2010 economies have reduced tariffs with the simple average applied tariff rate falling from 8.2 percent in 1996 to 5.4 percent by 2008, in comparison with the world average of 10.4 percent.

In 2008, 50 percent of imports by the 2010 economies entered duty free. APEC economies' pursuit of the Bogor Goals also delivered benefits to the region.

From 1994 to 2009, APEC's trade in goods with the world increased at an annualized rate of 7.1 percent, reaching 11.4 trillion US dollars; the nominal value of trade in commercial services increased at an annualized rate of about 7 percent, reaching a total of 2.4 trillion US dollars; inflows of foreign direct investment increased by 13.0 per year and outflows grown by 12.7 percent annually.

However, leaders pointed out that the significant progress made by the 2010 economies does not mean their work was complete, the assessment of the Bogor Goals highlighted the areas where barriers to trade and investment remain and where more concerted progress can be made.

"For APEC, the great value of the Bogor Goals came from establishing an ambitious target that encouraged continuous individual and collective efforts to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment."

In furtherance of the goal, APEC leaders recognized the importance of progress in the area of economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH), foster sustainable development, build institutional and human resource capacity, and achieve greater common prosperity.

All APEC economies must maintain their individual and collective commitment to further liberalize and facilitate trade and investment by reducing or eliminating tariffs, restrictions on trade in services, and restrictions on investment, and promoting improvement in other areas, including non-tariff measures and " behind-the-border" issues, said the statement.

Leaders also agreed that the full achievement of the Bogor Goals for all economies should continue to provide direction for APEC's work on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the future.

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