Toward the Development of APEC

— More Efficient, Concentrated Activities
and Positive Participation by the Private Sector —

Proposal Summary

Keidanren (Japan Federation of Economic Organizations)
September 16, 1997

Much expectation is being placed in the role of private-sector economic circles in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which adopted the Manila Action Plan at its conference in the Philippines last year and moved from the stage of vision to the stage of action. In consideration of this situation, Keidanren has formulated the following proposals:

« Problems of APEC and policies to be taken »

We would like to make the following proposals concerning immediate issues, including the organization and activities of APEC, methods of promoting liberalization, and forms of private-sector participation:

  1. Organization and activities:
  2. As APEC's activities have become more active, its organization and activities have expanded and become more complex, with the result that it has become very difficult to see the full picture. Through efforts to adjust and simplify its organization and activities, and strategic and concentrated activities, APEC is required to build a more simple and efficient management.

  3. Promotion of liberalization:
  4. In consideration of the diversity of its constituent members, APEC should maintain its nonbinding principle. In order to implement liberalization in a steadfast manner, however, each member should be required (a) to observe the standstill principle and (b) to indicate concrete road maps in specific action plans toward the final goal of liberalization. If a country or a region implements an industrial policy with the emphasis placed on the fostering of domestic industries, that country or region should ensure transparency in its policy and indicate its background and its term of validity.

  5. Forms of private-sector participation:
  6. On the basis of the recognition that it is precisely private-sector economic activity that is the source of regional economic development, APEC should make efforts to further reflect the opinions of private-sector economic circles. APEC should consider the establishment of an institution comprising national and regional economic organizations, like BIAC (the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD) for example, to supplement the activities of ABAC (the APEC Business Advisory Committee) and to arrange the opinions of private-sector economic circles and submit proposals.

  7. Transmitting information about activities:
  8. APEC should positively and frequently transmit information about its activities to national and regional private-sector economic circles. We recommend the speedy updating and expansion of data on APEC's Internet home page and so on.

« Priority Items That APEC Should Take Up in a Concentrated Manner »

In order to achieve the region's continued economic development, APEC should make active use of private-sector direct investment. Therefore, we propose that APEC should take up the promotion of infrastructure construction using private-sector resources and vitality and the protection of intellectual property rights as priority issues.

  1. Promotion of infrastructure construction using private-sector resources and vitality: We recommend APEC to omit repetition of introductory discussions, start discussions on more specific issues, and make efforts toward the realization of the following three points:

    1. The appropriate sharing and reduction of risks through strengthened cooperation between international organizations and member governments
    2. The building of a new framework for fund procurement
    3. The establishment and fostering of local finance and capital markets

  2. Protection of intellectual property rights: We request APEC to make efforts toward the realization of the following three points:

    1. The realization of common global intellectual property rights
    2. The thorough enforcement of rights
    3. The promotion of educational and enlightenment activities concerning intellectual property rights

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