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APEC as an Institution

Multilateral Governance in the Asia-Pacific

Richard E Feinberg

Publication Year: 2003

APEC is an experimental multilateralism, relying not on a large bureaucracy but rather upon national government agencies, semi-autonomous inter-governmental committees and "virtual" associations. Organized around the principles of consensus, voluntarism and unilateralism, APEC has eschewed binding agreements enforced through monitoring and robust compliance mechanisms. This volume assesses the strengths and weaknesses of APEC's "soft" institutionalism, and its capstone policy report, "Remaking APEC", identifies reforms that would close the credibility gap between APEC's promises and accomplishments. Chapters by leading scholars at APEC Study Centres investigate APEC's core agenda -- trade and investment liberalization and capacity-building -- delve into the inner workings of APEC's bureaucracy, and explore APEC's interactions with civil society, including the private sector and NGOs. This volume contains both the policy report and in-depth specialized studies. It is the product of the APEC International Assessment Network (APIAN), a collaborative, independent project among participating APEC Study Centres. APIAN's first major study, Assessing APEC's Progress: Trade, Ecotech and Institutions was also published by ISEAS(2001).

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute


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p. 1-1


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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

The Contributors

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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xii

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book is the second major research project of the APEC International Assessment Network (APIAN), the first being Assessing APEC’s Progress: Trade, Ecotech and Institutions (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2001). That first effort focused principally upon the substantive agenda of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, ...

Section I: Policy Report

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pp. 1-2

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1. Remaking APEC as an Institution: The Third APIAN Policy Report

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pp. 3-26

We fear that APEC, despite its many accomplishments, has been losing ground. Yet, many of the reasons that drove APEC’s creation remain valid today. Therefore, we urge APEC to do much more to get its own institutional house in better order. ...

Section II: Apec’s Strategic Objectives

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pp. 27-28

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2. APEC’s Overall Goals and Objectives, Evolution and Current Status

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pp. 29-46

Since entering its second decade, APEC has lost a great deal of the enthusiasm that accompanied its arrival. APEC reached its apex in the mid-1990s following the first Leaders’ Meeting in Seattle in 1993, a period of “heightening” of APEC, in the words of Morrison (1998). ...

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3. APEC as a Pacific OECD Revisited

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pp. 47-64

The idea of a trans-Pacific institution created along the lines of the Parisbased Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is almost as old as the OECD itself. The Pacific Trade and Development Conferences, which bring together economists from around the Asia-Pacific, ...

Section III: Management Reforms

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pp. 65-66

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4. The APEC Secretariat: A Management Perspective

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pp. 67-72

This chapter is designed to stimulate discussion and informed debate about the organizational structure and role of the APEC Secretariat. The chapter reviews the evolution of the Secretariat, its current situation, its weaknesses, as well as options for improvement. Finally, it makes some recommendations to strengthen the effectiveness of the Secretariat. ...

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5. Project Selection and Evaluation: APEC’s Budget and Management Committee and the Secretariat

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pp. 73-82

This practical chapter describes the APEC project approval and evaluation process, and the roles of the Budget and Management Committee (BMC) and the APEC Secretariat in the project cycle. It explores weaknesses in these procedures and institutions and concludes with various policy recommendations ...

Section IV: Trade, Investment and Ecotech

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pp. 83-84

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6. The APEC Decision-Making Process for Trade Policy Issues: The Experience and Lessons of 1994-2001

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pp. 85-110

This chapter examines the APEC decision-making process, with particular focus on how it has worked in recent years with respect to trade issues. In studying the decision-making process, I will assess it with respect to three questions: first, where do new initiatives come from, and how are they advanced in the APEC process; ...

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7. Towards an Assessment of APEC Trade Liberalization and Facilitation

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pp. 111-130

APEC’s trade and investment agenda began to take shape in 1993, with the release of the first report of the Eminent Persons’ Group (APEC/ EPG 1993), followed by the articulation at the 1993 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (APEC/LM 1993) in Seattle of the vision of the Asia- Pacific as a region of free trade and investment. ...

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8. Investment Liberalization and Facilitation in the Asia Pacific: Can APEC Make a Difference?

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pp. 131-152

Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played a significant role in the growth and dynamism of the member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC). Most APEC economies are both recipients and sources of FDI. Up to the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of these economies pursued highly restrictive policies ...

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9. The Wheel that Drives APEC: The Critical Role and Mandate of ECOTECH in APEC

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pp. 153-176

A new metaphor has recently been created for APEC. For a long time, the three functions of APEC have been said to include the support of (a) trade and investment liberalization, (b) trade and investment facilitation, and (c) economic and technical co-operation. These three functions have become the “Three Pillars” of APEC, ...

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10. Potential in Search of Achievement: APEC and Human Resource Development

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pp. 177-196

APEC’s human resource development (HRD) activities are second only in importance to the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation (TILF) agenda. No other issue, apart from TILF, has drawn such universal and consistent commitment from member economies involved in the APEC process. ...

Section V: Non-Governmental Participation in Apec

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pp. 197-198

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11. Business Involvement in APEC

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pp. 199-214

One characteristic makes APEC unique in the long history of governmentto- government international organizations: it has allowed the private sector to play a more direct and influential role in its deliberations than any similar organization. The business community’s involvement in APEC has been the impetus ...

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12. Civil Society Participation in APEC

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pp. 215-226

This chapter is designed to examine APEC’s experience and current practices with civil society participation in various fora, to assess the situation in APEC compared with some other multilateral organizations and to offer some suggestions for strengthening such participation in the work of APEC.1 ...

Section VI: Apec and the Security Agenda: First Thoughts

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pp. 227-228

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13. APEC’S Role in Political and Security Issues

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pp. 229-266

APEC is usually regarded as an exclusively economic and trade organization, with its primary targets focused on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and it appears certain that at least in the near future this agenda will remain as the primary goal. ...


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pp. 267-275

E-ISBN-13: 9789812305015
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812302090

Page Count: 276
Publication Year: 2003

Edition: 1

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Subject Headings

  • Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Organization).
  • Asia -- Economic integration.
  • Pacific Area -- Economic integration.
  • Asian cooperation.
  • Pacific Area cooperation.
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