Achieving the FTAAP is the destiny of APEC

By Zhou Shixin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 8, 2014
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This year marks the 10th anniversary of the FTAAP concept proposed by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in 2004.

One of the priorities in the themes of the 22nd APEC summit in Beijing is to continuously promote regional economic integration in the Asia Pacific and start the process of the Asia-Pacific FTA (FTAAP). This shows that APEC will evolve into a new era in building a community of the 21 economies in its 25th year.

From the perspective of all the APEC members, the original intention and the ultimate goal of the organization's establishment is to promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, cooperation of economic technologies, and enhance economic development and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. No matter from what point of view you look at it, APEC should achieve FTAAP sooner or later.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the FTAAP concept proposed by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in 2004. At that time, FTAAP was expected to be an initiative that could alleviate the negative effect of "spaghetti bowl" phenomenon when various regional trade agreements overlapped. At the same time, it was also once considered as an unrealistic initiative by many countries because it is against some of the principles of APEC, such as open regionalism and concerted action. However, in recent years, the APEC leaders' meetings have made the FTAAP a long-term vision for the future development of APEC. The FTAAP has already shown its inherent appeal as the common fate of APEC members.

This year is also the 20th anniversary of the Bogor Goals, proposed by APEC in 1994. The Bogor Goals are considered as a milestone in achieving the FTAAP. Most of the developed economies in APEC failed to honor their commitments to achieve the Bogor Goals when they gave up achieving the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment in 2010. However, it does not mean that they have no willingness in this regard. Many developed economies were unable to achieve the Bogor Goals after suffering the impact of the international financial crisis. Therefore, it is important and imperative to reboot or amend the Bogor Goals and pathways to achieve them as an important part of building the FTAAP.

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