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APEC Post 2020

Brian Lynch*
Chair, New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Wellington Branch;
Chair, New Zealand Committee of PECC; 
Former alternate New Zealand member of the APEC Business Council.

 

The swirls and eddies currently sweeping across the Asia–Pacific region's geopolitical and economic landscape do not offer a promising setting for the review of any regional agency, even one as long-established, and soon to enter its fourth decade, as the institution known as 'Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation'. APEC has recently been described as the 'premier economic forum'1 for promoting regional growth and integration and 'a global leader in addressing pressing problems'. The 21 APEC member economies, including New Zealand, are home to 40 per cent of the world's population and account for around 60 per cent of global production.

Seemingly undeterred by the regional volatility, APEC leaders have launched a major project to chart APEC's forward path and identify its place in regional economic architecture beyond 2020. The 30th anniversary will be a significant one for APEC; 2020 will be notable, too, because it was the target date which APEC set, in 1994 in the 'Bogor Goals', for full realisation throughout the region of the vision of 'free and open trade and investment'.

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APEC at 25: Relevance for the future global system

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.

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India into APEC: Three APEC reasons why

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).

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