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APEC at 20

Recall, Reflect, Remake

K Kesavapany and Hank Lim

Publication Year: 2009

Spanning 20 years of history, the achievements of APEC may seem uneventful in the eyes of some observers. Yet careful deliberation will point to APEC's many remarkable high points as well as some of the challenges. The foundations of APEC were set in place about 40 years ago based on the achievements of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). One of the cornerstones of APEC's vision is to achieve a free and open trade area among its member economies. This vision is anchored in the Bogor Goals that remain the centrepiece of the APEC process. The Bogor Goals represent a cause for celebration as well as angst. Celebration because the region has moved towards achieving a much more liberalized environment of trading and investment since 1989, angst because the deadlines for achieving the goals have not yet been fully realized. Today, APEC embraces many of the world's dynamic developed and developing economies that are better poised to meet the new challenges of this century. For those seeking to get a quick sweep of APEC, this book recalls, reflects and provides enough food for thought on the possible remake of APEC. The chapters are carefully written by experts who have been directly involved in the APEC process one way or another. The invaluable insights serve to place the whole APEC process in a balanced perspective, yet with candid deliberations.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-x

Twenty years is not a long time in the life of a regional process. I was involved with APEC at its conception and have returned. Observing the evolution of APEC in the intervening years has been akin to watching patiently the seemingly undirected behaviour of ants in a colony. ...

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pp. xi-xiv

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the inaugural Ministerial-level meeting held in Canberra in November 1989, which officially launched Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Publishing a commemorative book on APEC’s first 20 years thus seems opportune. ...

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About the Authors

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pp. xv-xviii

K. Kesavapany is Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and Director of the Singapore APEC Studies Centre at ISEAS. Prior to 2002, Ambassador Kesavapany was Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia. ...

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

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pp. xix-xx

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1. APEC: Genesis and Challenges

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pp. 1-16

Some of the foundations of APEC were laid more than 40 years ago. Careful consensus building, based on the achievements of ASEAN and PECC made it possible to launch APEC, based on agreed principles, in 1989. The process evolved quickly in its early years; by 1994 APEC leaders set themselves the remarkably ambitious objective of free and open trade. ...

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2. APEC’s Origins and its Future

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pp. 17-28

The idea of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has evolved over the years, but it continues to be rooted in the reality of the complex political and economic circumstance of the Asia- Pacific economy and polity. Since 1989, when APEC was founded, the institution has changed profoundly. ...

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3. Four Adjectives Become a Noun: APEC The Future of Asia-Pacific Cooperation

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pp. 29-40

The annual APEC Leaders Meeting, one of the largest regular gatherings of heads of state in the world, is frequently criticized in the media, which find it high on expense, ritual, and protocol, but low on concrete achievements. For example, The Economist, following the 2007 Sydney meeting, wrote a scathing assessment describing APEC as a stale joke: ...

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4. APEC’s Eye on the Prize: Participants, Modality, and Confidence-Building

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pp. 41-56

In commemoration of those who have been treading through the APEC paths with devotion to a better future during the past two decades, this chapter assesses APEC’s future prospects by highlighting the past aspirations as well as unexpected setbacks. The scope of this chapter will mainly focus on the following three dimensions that are manifested in some personality theory, ..

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5. APEC: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead

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pp. 57-66

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was established in 1989 to capitalize on the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies. By promoting market liberalization, facilitation and economic and technical cooperation, it intends to create a sound environment for long-term sustainable economic development and shared prosperity for all members. ...

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6. Revamping APEC’s Concerted Unilateral Liberalization

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pp. 67-82

The opportunity will not come twice for countries in the diverse Asia-Pacific region to engage in a productive regional trade agenda as provided by APEC’s Concerted Unilateral Liberalization (CUL). This unique approach has found its manifestation in the annual submission of Individual Action Plans (IAPs) covering 15 areas of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. ...

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7. APEC at 20: Assessment of Trade/Investment Liberalization, Facilitation and Ecotech Activities

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pp. 83-96

APEC will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year 2009. In 1989, it started as a series of meetings of Foreign and Trade Ministers from twelve member economies on economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Through the years, APEC has witnessed ebbs and flows in its momentum of cooperation. ...

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8. Integrating the Business Community in the APEC Process: Genesis of the Pacific Business Forum

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pp. 97-104

On a clear November day in 1993, some of the world’s most powerful political leaders had a good idea to boost economic development: they decided to engage the people who are most directly involved in economic development — the business community. ...


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pp. 105-106

Appendix 1: APEC Member Economies: General Economic Indicators

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pp. 107

Appendix 2: Merchandise Trade in APEC, 1989

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pp. 108

Appendix 3: Merchandise Trade in APEC, 2008

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pp. 109

Appendix 4: Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in Force among APEC Member Economies

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pp. 110

Appendix 5: Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) among APEC Member Economies for which an Early Announcement has been made to the WTO

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pp. 111-112


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pp. 113-120

E-ISBN-13: 9789814279277
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814279260

Page Count: 120
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1

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Subject Headings

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