Full text: Statement on the 25th anniversary of APEC

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Leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies concluded their annual meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, adopting the "Statement on the 25th Anniversary of APEC: Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership".

Following is the full text of the statement.


Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership

Beijing, China

11 November, 2014

1. We, the Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), having met by Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China for the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, jointly issue this statement today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of APEC.

2. We recall the establishment of APEC in 1989, which opened up a new historic chapter for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. Over the course of the past 25 years, in pursuit of economic growth, better wellbeing of people, and common prosperity of the region, APEC has propelled progress through "two wheels" - trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and economic and technical cooperation. Having contributed to global efforts in meeting the grave challenges of the Asian Financial Crisis and the International Financial Crisis, APEC member economies have been the main engine of global growth.

3. We are pleased to note that APEC has become the premier, and most extensive and influential regional economic cooperation forum in the Asia-Pacific, unified in a common drive to build a dynamic and prosperous Asia-Pacific community.

Progress and Achievements

4. We acknowledge the historical achievements and the remarkable results APEC has delivered since its establishment in 1989. In the course of the past 25 years, the average applied tariffs of APEC economies have fallen by more than 10 percentage points, contributing to a seven-fold increase in both intra-APEC merchandise trade and APEC's total trade, as well as higher economic growth compared to the rest of the world.

5. We recognize with appreciation that many successful experiences can be drawn from the 25 years of APEC:

-- APEC has upheld the spirit of equality, mutual benefit, mutual respect, openness, inclusiveness, flexibility, pragmatism, and win-win cooperation; and followed the principles of cooperation, voluntarism, and consensus building.

-- APEC has established the Bogor Goals, putting forward two timelines calling for the realization of free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies.

-- APEC recognizes the importance of trade as a key to job creation, economic growth and sustainable development, and reiterates the value, centrality and primacy of the multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO. Historically, APEC has been consistently supporting the rules-based multilateral trading system, and played a leading role in facilitating the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994, launching the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in 2001, and achieving a successful conclusion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) in 1996, launching the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) Expansion negotiations in 2012 and Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations in 2014, as well as achieving Bali Package in 2013. In support of "free and open trade and investment", APEC economies committed to refraining from raising new trade and investment barriers and combating protectionism in all its forms.

-- APEC has been a pioneer, pacesetter and pathfinder in regional and global economic cooperation, advancing the process towards the eventual realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), promoting trade facilitation, including expedited business travel through the APEC Business Travel Card, supporting the development of Global Value Chains (GVCs), launching the APEC Growth Strategy, promoting trade in environmental goods and services, improving supply chain performance, promoting connectivity, strengthening the implementation of good regulatory practices, and addressing the next generation trade and investment issues.

-- APEC has carried out practical cooperation in a wide range of areas, including structural reform; standards and conformance; women and the economy; health, education and labor; climate change; food security and food safety; energy security and sustainable energy development; green economy; blue economy; small and medium enterprises; information and communications technology; transport; infrastructure development and investment; forestry; mining; counter-terrorism; emergency preparedness; and, anti-corruption.

6. APEC has established a mechanism through the APEC Business Advisory Council to receive valuable inputs from the business sector in its policy deliberations. APEC fully appreciates the active role played by business communities in advancing the APEC agenda. APEC industry dialogues and partnerships in a range of business sectors play a unique role in enhancing the economic cooperation and integration among the member economies. We reaffirm the significant value that public-private activities have contributed to APEC work.

New Opportunities and Challenges

7. We recognize that today, 25 years on, APEC and the Asia-Pacific economies are at a new historical starting point, and are facing unprecedented opportunities and challenges.

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