Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
APEC 2012 Meetings were successfully held in Vladivostok in September and we have got in recess for a while. The new IAPs by all 21 economies, together with Policy Support Unit’s Progress Reports and Dashboards have been published on the APEC’s website.
At 2010 APEC Yokohama, APEC Leaders conducted the mid-term review of their efforts for achieving the Bogor Goals and renewed their commitment for all 21 economies to continue their IAP process toward its final goals in 2020. We would like to call my fellow experts’ attention to this renewed IAP process and encourage you to closely monitor this process. We believe it is the role for us academics to monitor and advise our senior officials and their staffs to implement the IAPs effectively.
APEC, with its non-binding modality, tends to be neglected in the big tide of mushrooming FTAs in the Asia Pacific, but it has accumulated rich experiences in liberalizations and facilitations together with capacity building assistance and it includes all economiesin Asia Pacific, meeting regularly on the regional economic integration (REI) activities.
APEC Leaders announced FTA in the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) as a long term goal beyond the Bogor Goals and identified TPP and ASEAN + Six (predecessor of RCEP) as well as APEC’s REI as parallel routes toward FTAAP. TPP and RCEP will pull Asia Pacific from above, while the APEC’s IAP process will push it up from behind.
I, together with my junior partners, have conducted an independent academic assessment of their progress toward the final Bogor Goals in 2020. The IAPs have still remained no easy readings but PSU’s reports convey their main inputs in a concise summary of 3-4 pages (altogether 70-80 pages for all APEC). Its concluding part conveys a group assessment of all 21 economies by individual areas of Osaka Action Agenda, constrained by the APEC modality. We have undertaken an objective quantitative assessment of individual economies by areas in order to supplement it. You may remember my previous attempts (1998 and 2010) with radar charts. You understand individual economies’ progress at a glance. Our major findings are as follow;
l Steady progress in many facilitation areas such as Standard and Conformance, Customs Procedure, Business Mobility thanks to APEC’s Collective Action Plans and capacity building assistance
l Limited progress in sensitive areas of Tariffs and Investment, due to the delay of WTO/DDA conclusion.
l Poor progress in NTM and Services. Further encouragement is needed for the next round of IAPs 2014.
Main text and appendix tables are available on line at the ASCJ’s home page.. You are welcome to visit it for further details. We would like to propose our fellow academics to monitor the PSU’s reports closely and conduct own assessments. We wish we will have a few occasions next year, such as ASCC meeting in Indonesia and some PECC meeting, to discuss all of our assessments and send our advices to SOM and Ministers. Incidentally we have sent a copy of this communication to APEC senior officials and ABAC members. (528 words)
Yamazawa, Ippei, Toshihiro Atsumi, and Hikari Ishido, APEC’s New IAP Process: How Can we Strengthen it toward the Bogor Goals in 2020, APEC Study Center Japan, November 2012. http://ascj.web.fc2.com/
www.APEC.org>Home>About us>About APEC>Achievements and benefits>Assessment of Achievements of the Bogor Goals in2012.