In 1993, APEC Leaders decided to establish a network of APEC Study Centers (ASCs) among universities and research institutions in APEC member economies. The network serves to promote interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research from an independent perspective by facilitating academic exchange and providing opportunities for mutually beneficial training. Together they form the APEC Study Centers Consortium (ASCC).
ASCs undertake research, disseminate information and facilitate discussion on APEC-related issues. There are now ASCs in 20 Member Economies, comprising some 100 universities, research centers and centers of academic excellence. Financial support is provided by both public and private funds and research topics are usually chosen by individual study centers.
An annual ASCC Conference is held in the APEC host economy for the year. It provides an opportunity for academics and scholars to discuss their research and to identify areas for regional collaboration.
- Current Activities
The APEC Study Centers Consortium Annual Conference was held on 26-27 May 2012 in Kazan, Russia at the margins of APEC’s second Senior Officials’ Meeting.
The conference was jointly organized by the Russian APEC Study Center on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
The agenda of the ASCC 2012 was divided in four panels based on the APEC 2012 priorities:
- On trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration (REI), the participants reaffirmed the importance to focus on advancing REI and moving towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) in line with achieving the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2020.
To realise this objective, participants expressed support for further facilitation of customs administration procedures to make doing business easier. Participants also suggested deepening APEC discussion on financial market integration and collaboration in order to reduce the vulnerability of APEC economies to financial contagion.
Participants also discussed the progress of co-evolving integration processes in the region beyond the framework of APEC and APEC’s role among them.
- On strengthening food security, participants discussed the issues of regional food market integration and innovative development of agriculture. They noted that under the status quo, FTAs in practice became the main vehicle for international agreements to liberalize trade. The participants indicated varying effectiveness of FTAs in opening food markets: both comprehensive liberalization in some cases and evidence of concentration of product exclusions in others.
- On establishing reliable supply chains,participants stressed that the key issue concerning supply and value chains refers to challenges of reliability. It is essential to ensure appropriate risk management and emergency preparedness, to improve coordination and management in emergency situations. The crucial aspects of management and mitigating risks in supply chains refers to identifying and measuring risks at critical points in the supply chain.
Participants also recognized physical connectivity as equal to institutional connectivity in terms of ensuring reliable and stable supply and value chains. While physical connectivity reduces business transaction costs, institutional efforts in the form of, e.g. liberalizing trade in services, will significantly contribute to an even more enhanced connectivity of supply and value chains across the Asia-Pacific region.
- On intensive cooperation to foster innovative growth, participants discussed barriers to innovation in regional services business models. They stressed that building of local centers or hubs of services are good examples of facilitating a collaborative cluster of talent and ideas. The ASCC concluded that effective regional integration would require from member economies to focus on facilitating collaborative innovation.
ASCCC 2013 will be held on 26-27 of July 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Conference is organized by Indonesia APEC Study Centre Consortium, consist of Universitas Indonesia (APEC Study Centre Universitas Indonesia) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (Asia Pacific Study Centre Universitas Gadjah Mada). The discussion topics for the conference will include among others, the following:
- Attaining the Bogor Goals
- Sustainable and inclusive growth
- Connectivity (“institution connectivity” and “people connectivity”)
- Infrastructure Financing
For further information of the ASCCC 2013 in Jakarta on 26-27 July 2013, please see http://www.ascccindonesia2013.org
APEC celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2009. Consequently, the host of the 2009 ASCC Conference, the Institute of South-East Asian Studies (the home of the Singapore APEC Study Centre), chose the topic, "APEC at 20: Looking Ahead to the Next Decade" for the Conference held on the 13th -14th July.
The Conference reviewed APEC's 20 years of existence with the goal of envisaging its future. Presenting academics considered how APEC and its agenda should develop in the next 10 years in the context of an evolving regional architecture. The presentations also included discussion of the Bogor Goals, the impact of the global recession and the role of APEC.
Several interesting prospects for APEC were debated during the Conference, including:
- Options ranging from the termination of APEC to the creation of an "APEC caucus" within the G-20.
- The potential for an enhanced role for APEC in ensuring 'inclusive' and 'sustainable' growth in the region.
- That SMEs could benefit from regional cooperation to access global markets through APEC.
- The need for new economic models for the region - models that support domestic-led growth in addition to export-led growth.
At the end of the ASCC Conference, the Latin America/Caribbean and Asia/Pacific Economics and Business Association (LAEBA) - a joint initiative of the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Inter-American Development Bank - held its Fifth Annual Conference (15th July). It gathered experts from Asia and Latin America to discuss accelerating regional integration in the Asia-Pacific region.
Prof. Vinod K. AGGARWAL (Mr)
Berkeley APEC Study Center
802 Barrows Hall #1970
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California 94720-1970, USA
Dr. Richard E. FEINBERG (Mr)
Prof. & Director
APEC Study Center
University of California, San Diego
Graduate School of Int'l Relations & Pacific Studies
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Stop 0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
Tel: +1619-534 7627 (DID) / 534 2660
Anh Tuan TU (Mr)