Forum

Register

PECC Discussion Forum

The PECC Discussion Forum provides op-eds and relevant news in the PECC community.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Narongchai Akrasanee
Minister of Energy, Thailand
Chair, Thailand National Committee of Pacific Economic Cooperation (TNCPEC)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is 25 years old this week and the leaders of its 21 member economies, the world’s largest regional economic group, will be hosted by China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing to celebrate.

Although officially APEC is 25 years old, the so-called APEC attempt, or attempt at economic cooperation among the Asia-Pacific economies (countries) began more than 40 years ago.

The first group of people who saw the benefits of economic cooperation in Asia-Pacific was businesspeople. They saw the opportunity for trade and investment, or the opportunity to make money. This is not unlike the Arab/Indian merchants who sought trade cooperation with Southeast Asia more than 1,000 years ago or the merchants along the famous Asian Silk Road. Another route of development that eventually reached to APEC was through academia, through the development of public-policy thought.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 473

Jusuf Wanandi
Co-Chair Pacific Economic Cooperation Council


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. This milestone presents a chance for reflection on achievements as well as the future. Although most think of APEC in terms of the Bogor Goals of free trade and investment, these were the chosen means to an end — that end being “accelerated, balanced and equitable economic growth not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but throughout the world as well”.

Since 1989, the average income in the region has tripled from around US$5,000 to above $15,000. Asia- Pacific is now the world’s strongest growth center. The non-OECD economies of Asia-Pacific, notably China, have evolved into great traders. Asia-Pacific has also caught up very fast in the origination and hosting of the cross-border flows of capital and people. More importantly, the number of people living on less than $2 a day in the region has dropped from close to 1.2 billion to 412 million.

Continue reading
Tagged in: apec FTAAP RCEP TPP
in PECC Forum 1554

Andrew Elek
Australian National University (ANU)

 

As APEC celebrates its 25th anniversary in Beijing, we are publishing an abridged version of the chapter on the founding of APEC that was part of PECC’s own 25th anniversary publication in 2005. The chapter was written by Dr Andrew Elek, the chair of APEC’s first Senior Officials Meeting.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 898

Andrew Elek
Australian National University (ANU)

 

Some of the foundations of APEC were laid more than 40 years ago.  By 1989, the careful consensus building, based on the achievements of ASEAN and PECC made it possible to consider an inter-governmental forum.  In September of that year, I saw Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation spelled out on a hotel events sign for the very first time as I walked into the room to chair the inaugural meeting of APEC Senior Officials.

Thanks to excellent cooperation from the representatives of 12 economies, we were able to negotiate an annotated agenda at the dizzying speed (I calculated later) of only 3 minutes per word.  The road to the first ministerial-level meeting in Canberra was clear and APEC was launched.

PECC, a tripartite pre-cursor to APEC, had set out a rich agenda of issues to be considered by Asia Pacific governments, especially the region's strong shared interest in an open non-discriminatory international trading system.  Indeed, the first 25 years of the APEC process have been dominated by trade policy to attain the Bogor goal of free and open trade and investment.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 4280

Malcolm Cook
Senior Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies


If Indian Prime Minister Modi accepts Chinese President Xi’s surprise (to the other members of APEC and to India) invitation to attend the APEC Leaders Meeting in Beijing in November, it will bring India closer to its twenty-year goal of becoming an APEC member economy. In 2005, I supported the  continued thwarting of this Indian aspiration for what I thought were sound, APEC-based reasons. (http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/how-save-apec)

Nine years on, the regional trade diplomacy picture has fundamentally changed while APEC has not. The Doha Round’s continuing comatose state has underpinned a continuing proliferation of bilateral preferential trade deals and an attempt at an Asia-Pacific regional trade deal (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) and an ASEAN-based, East Asian one (The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership).

Continue reading
Tagged in: apec FTAAP India RCEP TPP
in PECC Forum 11068

Amitendu Palit
Head (Partnerships & Programmes) and Senior Research Fellow
The Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS)


India is not a member of the APEC notwithstanding its long history of cultural and commercial exchanges with several APEC members. While this might seem odd, the absence is not difficult to explain.

India was hardly a blip on the region’s radar when the ‘flying geese’ began fanning their wings after the 2nd World War, drawing struggling economies with colonial pasts into a well-knitted architecture of explosive export growth combining cheap labour, embodied technology and disciplined organization practices. India’s inward-looking defensive trade policy, coupled with commitment to non-alignment and ideological discomfort with laissez faire and open trade policies, ensured its distance from the APEC remained far and unbridgeable.

Continue reading
Tagged in: apec China India RCEP TPP
in PECC Forum 16481

Gary Hawke
Member of the Board, NZPECC

[The views expressed herein are Author's own and made in reference to a commissioned research conducted by Coriolis, NZ]
 

“Any discussion today of international trade and investment policy that fails to acknowledge the centrality of global value chains (GVCs) would be considered outmoded and of questionable relevance.”1 In this way, the editors, Deborah K. Elms and Patrick Low, introduce a valuable recent study of the most prominent feature of the modern international economy. The OECD, WTO and UNCTAD said something similar in a submission to the G20 last year: “Trade agreements have to cope with the new reality of business.”2

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 51283

Kenichi Kawasaki
Consulting Fellow, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)
Senior Fellow, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Adjunct Fellow, Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA)

 

Summary
Quantitative studies using an economic model show the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) complement each other rather than be competitors toward the establishment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).  Breaking down the sources of those macroeconomic benefits by the policy measures of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies showed that the contribution by China would be the largest.  Nonetheless, in many countries of Association of South‐East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and outside this region, contributions by a country’s own initiatives will be much larger than those by its trade partners, including China.  Meanwhile, larger economic benefits are expected from NTMs reductions in addition to tariff removals.  It is thus suggested that domestic reforms are essential in order to enjoy the macroeconomic benefits of international Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). 

 

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 19720

Hugh Stephens, Vice-Chair, CANCPEC

Don Campbell, Co-Chair of PECC and Chair, CANCPEC

Published: December 12, 2013 in Canada-Asia Agenda

Abstract:

On October 18, Canada and the EU announced an agreement on the provisions of a Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA). The concessions that Canada was willing to make for the CETA may indicate a path forward in terms of finding the balance necessary to achieve a winning outcome with Asia Pacific countries, especially through Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 42501

Hugh Stephens
Vice Chair, CANCPEC
Fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute
Executive-in-residence at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

[Published in iPolitics, January 14, 2014]

The failure of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade ministers to conclude the TPP agreement this past December in Singapore no doubt pleased many critics of the agreement.

Criticisms have been widespread — ranging from the ‘secrecy’ of the negotiations, to possible limits on national sovereignty arising from required changes to Canadian law, to wild accusations that it will undermine Internet freedom for Canadians. The Council of Canadians, never a friend of trade liberalization, has had particularly harsh words for the TPP.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 61852

Eduardo Pedrosa
Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council

The APEC leaders’ meeting in Bali is over. The week-long series of events were but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the APEC process. APEC is an institutionalized process with thousands of experts attending more than 100 meetings, all competing for a mention in the leaders’ statement.

Each year, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) conducts a survey on what opinion leaders think the priorities should be from a list of 30.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 5838

Federico Macaranas
Professor, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, the Philippines

The BALI airport temporarily closed for commercial flights for security reasons, even as a new $300-million terminal has just been constructed (the cost of a one-day shutdown to the US government); dug up tarmac redesigned without chemicals, engineering works rushed from underpasses to a new $215-million oversea toll roads with dedicated motorcycle lanes crossing the main island across the waters to Nusa Dua; relocated monuments repainted, flag poles fitted with LED lights

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 23507

John West
AUSPECC/ Asian Century Institute

The East Asian economy is at a critical crossroads, according to the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council's State of the Region report. This PECC report reviews and analyzes the forecasts of major inter-governmental organizations, the Standard Chartered Bank and Oxford Economics. It makes an important contribution by virtue of its synthesis of business, academic and official perspectives, as well as the results of a survey of regional opinion leaders from all three groups.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 7563

Professor Christopher Findlay
Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide
Vice-Chair of AUSPECC

Connectivity is a hot topic in regional cooperation and rightly so.  Greater levels of and improved performance in connectivity saves real resources, improves access to markets, plugs economies into regional supply chains, raises income and helps deal with shocks and disasters.  The values of connectivity apply to movement of goods, to movements of people and provision of services.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 3201

Steven CM Wong
Senior Director, ISIS Malaysia

LOGIC: The more extensive and deeper an agreement is, the more likely it is to be the de facto standard

How does the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), now being negotiated among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, including four from Asean, impact the latter's  Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?

It is easy to claim, as some have done, that both are building blocks towards freer trade. But are they really? This claim is further doubtful if the two blocks are of different size, weight and degree of ambition.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 8631

Ippei Yamazawa
Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan

This year Indonesian host has tried to highlight the Bogor Goals so that we have been invited to report directly our IAP review study at Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI) Workshop in Medan, ABAC3 in Kyoto, and ASCC in Jakarta, that is all tripartite stakeholders , officials, business, and academics in July. By and large our report was welcomed and mentioned in the recommendation letters by the last two to the APEC Leaders.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 10864

Corey Wallace
Teaching Fellow, Political Studies, University of Auckland
New Zealand Youth delegate GM XIX 2010

Keen observers of Asia-Pacific regional integration will not have missed the development of an interesting dynamic in recent years - that of geopolitical competition driving the economic liberalization agenda. The politicization of economic relations and interconnections is of course nothing new. The opening of the American market after World War II to Germany and Japan was a critical part of early US Cold War strategy, as was encouraging Japan to limit its trading relationship with the People’s Republic of China and other Communist governments in Asia.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 7075

Nam Duck-woo, a founding member of PECC and first chair of KOPEC (Korea committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation) passed away on May 18th, 2013 in Seoul at the age of 89. Dr. Nam earned a doctorate in economics at Oklahoma State University and was teaching at Sogang University when in 1969 he was recruited by then President Park Chung-hee to serve as the finance minister. He remained in the position till 1974 and from 1974 to 1978, he served as the deputy prime minister in charge of economic policies at the height of Korea’s industrial development. Under the next president, Chun Doo-hwan, he served as the prime minister from 1980 to 1982.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 2684

Theresa Robles
Associate Research Fellow
Centre for Multilateralism Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS),
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Synopsis

Abe’s recent announcement of Japan’s intention to join the TPP is seen not only as an important vehicle to expand trade and investment opportunities but also as a way to reposition the country as a major regional power.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 4696

Barry Desker
Dean of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS),
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Synopsis
The WTO Doha Round of negotiations is deadlocked and adrift amid increasing global protectionism. The profusion of bilateral and plurilateral free trade agreements is adding to the confusion. A global solution is necessary for global problems.

Continue reading
in PECC Forum 5334