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APEC summit yields agreements

Posted November. 17, 2000 14:59,   


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which ended Thursday, produced three major achievements in general.

First, the APEC took steps to expand globalization as the overall goal of the forum. And the core of the goal is the promotion of informationization and free trade and investment among the member states.

To this end, the APEC conference adopted the Action Agenda for the New Economy, comprising policy plans and projects to maximize the benefits of the new economy among the member nations. And agreement was reached to link the Internet to all residents in the Asia-Pacific rim countries by 2010.

The APEC leaders also concurred to step up efforts to implement the 1994 summit declaration adopted in Indonesia, calling for free trade and investment in the advanced states by 2010 and in the developing ones by 2020.

At the same time, the agreements provide for taking measures to minimize the negative effects of globalization, including the solution of problems with the digital divide. In order to prevent the recurrence of financial crises in the region, the member states reached a broad consensus on the establishment of an international monitoring channel for hedge funds.

Second, as a concrete method to shape up globalization policy, the conferees decided to strengthen the multinational trade system with the launch of the World Trade Organization new round as the main channel. They agreed to the principle that the member states confirm agenda in the shortest possible date within the year, but the possibility remains for them to develop discords over the details of the agenda.

However, it is noteworthy that the APEC participants shared the view that the free trade agreements to be concluded among the member states should be consistent with the goals and principles of the WTO stipulations and the APEC's goals and principles. As a supplementary action, the members concurred to take appropriate actions to stabilize international oil prices in view of balanced interests between the consumers and producers. Depending on the progress in its implementation of the measures, the Korean economy would be greatly affected by the outcome.

Third, the APEC leaders expressed support for North Korea's participation in the forum's activities, raising concern about how will the Pyongyang leadership respond to the summit decision inviting the North to join the APEC working groups.

President Kim Dae-Jung proposed to the conference three main tasks, the addressing of the digital divide problems, strengthening of the international financial system, and expansion of foundations for reform, and seven cooperation projects. All of his proposals are incorporated in the summit declaration.