Author Topic: APEC Senior Officials Agree to an Ambitious Work Plan for APEC 2008 Peru  (Read 254 times)

ArielValloso

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APEC Senior Officials met from 2-3 March in Lima to agree on APEC's work agenda for 2008. Topics of discussion included WTO negotiations and regional economic integration.

Supporting the multilateral trading system remains the highest priority for APEC Economies. APEC Senior Officials noted the recent positive development in the Doha Round and committed to work towards an ambitious and balanced outcome that delivers real commercial gains.

APEC Senior Officials reaffirmed the importance of the role the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) has played in promoting trade, investment, and economic growth in APEC economies over the last ten years. Senior Officials also expressed concern about products covered by the ITA that may no longer be receiving duty free treatment in some key markets because of their technological innovations. They expressed further concern that these recent developments will undermine the ITA, and agreed to work together to ensure that the integrity and original spirit of the ITA is maintained.

Officials agreed on a plan to implement the recommendations of a report on regional economic integration, endorsed by APEC Economic Leaders in 2007, including practical and incremental steps to explore a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

It was agreed that APEC should play a role in the work on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the region. To this end, CSR is to be incorporated into APEC's broader agenda of improving the business environment and economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. Addressing issues of structural reform and reducing behind-the-border impediments will also be a focus of APEC's work this year. Senior Officials also discussed issues of anti-corruption and counter-terrorism.

Senior Officials agreed to the arrangements for the establishment of a Policy Support Unit within the APEC Secretariat and explored the issues related to the recruitment of a fixed-term APEC Executive Director.



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