Sunday, 19 Nov 2017
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ECONOMY

APEC and expectation for Bogor Goals

Updated at Tuesday, 07 Nov 2017, 14:43
The Hanoitimes - As APEC is putting up effort to realize Bogor Goals, expectation is high for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week convened at the beginning of this week in Danang.
The Bogor Goals are a set of targeted goals for realizing free and open trade in the Asia-Pacific agreed by member economies in 1994 in Bogor, Indonesia. The Leaders had agreed to adopt the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific.
 
APEC Economic Leaders’ Week convened at the beginning of this week in Danang.
APEC Economic Leaders’ Week convened at the beginning of this week in Danang.
This goal will be pursued promptly by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and by promoting the free flow of goods, services and capital among APEC economies. Initiatives that fall under these goals include efforts to improve the time and costs for goods, people, investment and services to cross borders. Some examples include streamlining customs procedures and reducing tariffs as well enhancing the business climate in individual member economies. 

As such, APEC is committed to achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies. APEC members agreed to pursue this goal by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and by promoting the free flow of goods, services and capital.
According to the Second term review of APEC’s Progress Toward the Bogor Goals, since Viet Nam’s accession to WTO, its average MFN tariffs have declined substantially from 18.5% in 2007 to 9.5% in 2014. About one-third of the tariff lines (35.1%) are duty-free, thanks to improvement in trade and investment relation, as well as the increasing number of regional and free trade agreements (RTAs/FTAs). 

As of 2016, there are 150 valid RTAs/FTAs, including 60 RTAs/FTAs signed and came into force between APEC economic members. More and more new FTAs in the region are focused on new trend of trade and investment, solving issues related to cross borders trade and non-tariffs. Thanks to positive impact of RTAs/FTAs, trade value within APEC has increased 274%, from 2,3 trillion USD to 6,3 trillion USD in period 2000 – 2016. 

On FDI attraction, in 2016, APEC economic members has contributed to half of the 10 economies with largest FDI attraction in the world. Specifically, total FDI invested in 5 APEC economic members (US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia) were 710 billion USD, equivalent to 46.7% of the total FDI in the world at that time. 

The achievement of Bogor Goals is priority of APEC for more than 2 decades. This will be basis for APEC to set up its vision post 2020, which focus on broader objectives other than free trade and investment and to deal with new challenges in a dynamic world. 

It is safe to say that in 2 decades, the import tariffs in the region has significantly reduced, but new non tariff barriers to trade have appeared, including import quotas, subsidies, customs delays, technical barriers, or other systems preventing or impeding trade. In particular, major economies in the world such as the US, China, Canada and Australia are applying the most non tariff barriers. Moreover, the trend of digital economy and the industrial revolution 4.0 are putting pressure with new challenges for APEC economic members. 

According to the Minister of Industry & Trade Tran Tuan Anh, APEC has begun discussed on the shaping APEC’s post 2020 vision, which is in assumption that the Bogor Goals are achieved. However, experts said despite the uncertainty of the future, APEC’s strategy for post 2020 will still focus on removing trade and investment barriers in region, as there is no indication that APEC can achieve Bogor Goals by 2020. With this being said, after 2020, APEC members agreed to pursue this goal by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and by promoting the free flow of goods, services and capital. 

Being the host for APEC 2017, Vietnam continues push forward with the achievement of Bogor Goals by 2020 as one of the important agenda of APEC. Vietnam expected with the effort of other APEC’s economic members, from now on until 2020 to develop plan in fields of custom, non-custom, investment, services and rule of origins, with an aim to deal with trade and investment barriers as stated in the Second term review of APEC’s Progress Toward the Bogor Goals.
Nguyen Tung
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