The 11th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok Tuesday adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Partnership for the Future. The following is the abstract of the declaration:
1. Promoting Trade and Investment Liberalization
To advance the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, as well as their supporting conditions, we agreed to:
- Re-energize the negotiation process, building on Chairman Derbez's text of 13 September 2003, recognizing that flexibility and political will are urgently needed to move the negotiations toward a successful conclusion.
- Work towards the abolition of all forms of agricultural export subsidies, unjustifiable export prohibition and restrictions, and commit ourselves to work in the negotiating group on rules in accordance with the Doha mandate
- Advance free trade in a coordinated manner among multilateral, regional and bilateral frameworks so that they are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
- Work with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the business community to continue to implement the Shanghai Accord and Los Cabos directives to facilitate business activity in the APEC region, including the reduction of transaction costs 5 percent by the year 2006.
- Fight corruption, a major obstacle to social and economic development, by working in 2004 to develop specific domestic actions to combat it.
2. Enhancing Human Security
We agreed to dedicate APEC not only to advancing the prosperity of our economies, but also to the complementary mission of ensuring the security of our people.
We therefore committed at Bangkok to take all essential actions to:
- Dismantle, fully and without delay, transnational terrorist groups that threaten the APEC economies.
- Eliminate the severe and growing danger posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery by strengthening international non-proliferation regimes, adopting and enforcing effective export controls, and taking other legitimate and appropriate measures against proliferation.
We pledged to discuss at each Leaders' Meeting our progress toward these security commitments, and to take specific actions in pursuit of them.
We agreed this year to:
- Strengthen our joint efforts to curb terrorists threats against mass transportation and confront the threat posed by terrorists' acquisition and use of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).
- Increase and better coordinate our counter-terrorism activities, where appropriate, through effective collaboration, technical assistance and capacity building, and cooperation between APEC's Counter Terrorism Task Force, the Counter Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) of the G-8, the United Nations Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee and other relevant international, regional and functional organizations.
- Implement the APEC Action Plan on SARS and our Heath Security Initiative to help APEC prevent and respond to regional health threat, including naturally-occurring infectious disease and bio-terrorism.
- Establish a regional trade and financial security initiative within the Asian Development Bank, to support projects that enhance port security, combat terrorist finance, and achieve other counter-terrorism objectives.
- Support implementation of the Unilateral Advance Passenger Information (API) System path finder initiative and efforts to explore development of a regional movement alert system to protect air travelers.
3. Using APEC to Help People and Societies Benefit from Globalization
To create the conditions that allow peoples and societies to make the most of their potential and prepare for the challenges of the future, we agreed to:
- Strengthen efforts to empower people and societies, including women and youth, to integrate into the global economy.
- Step up efforts to build knowledge-based economies. We instructed Ministers to accelerate progress towards the Brunei Goals on expanding Internet access, improvement of intellectual property rights facilitation, protection and enforcement, and implementation of the e-APEC Strategy, in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
- Strengthen regional efforts to promote sound and efficient financial systems and fundamentals.
- Accelerate structural reform in the APEC region. We reiterated APEC's strong political commitment to continued structural reform to ensure sustainable economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
We endorsed in full the conclusions of and the Joint Statement agreed by Ministers at the Fifteenth APEC Ministerial Meeting.
(Xinhua News Agency October 22, 2003)