We have laid out in Brunei Darussalam a vision to capture the full economic and social benefits of the emerging new economy.
APEC has taken a number of actions to move forward on the New Economy including on E-Commerce Readiness Assessment, paperless trading, electronic Individual Action Plans, and capacity building of institutions and human capital in areas related to e-commerce.
To build on that beginning and to achieve our vision, we outline the following action agenda which aims to promote the right policy environment and to build capacity.
We recognise that this is only a start and that it will require cooperation and partnership among APEC economies, and among business, government and the widest spectrum of the community.
We instruct our Ministers to develop and expand this agenda, in consultation and engagement with the stakeholders, in order to:
  • strengthen our market structures and institutions to enable new and existing forms of trade and investment in goods and services to flourish in the new environment;
  • develop a conducive policy environment for investment in infrastructure and the development of technology; and
  • induce innovation and entrepreneurship and build human capacity and knowledge through comprehensive and high-quality education, training and skills development programs:
Create an environment for strengthening of market structures and institutions
  • Strengthen financial markets and supervisory and regulatory frameworks to improve capacity to provide capital to the most dynamic companies;
  • Continue work towards pro-competitive and market-based policy frameworks for liberalisation in trade in telecommunications and IT services;
  • Continue improving upon the electronic individual action plans (e-IAPs), a transparent and user-friendly way to record our economies? progress towards liberalisation;
  • Intensify cooperation between governments and the business sectors to work towards affordable quality access to telecommunications services and the internet for all our communities;
Create an environment for infrastructure investment, technology development, entrepreneurship
  • Develop the agreed work program leading to favorable as well as compatible legal and regulatory frameworks for consumer protection, electronic transactions documents and signatures across APEC;
  • Continue work to ensure that SMEs are able to make full use of ICT in all aspects of trade and business;
  • Use the results of the APEC E-Commerce Readiness Assessments for APEC Economies to further explore collective and individual actions, including by implementing the follow-on "Readiness Evaluation Action Partnerships" showcasing practical actions to remove roadblocks to participation in electronic trade;
  • Continue work through appropriate fora in areas such as consumer protection, customs procedures, transport services, standards and conformance, and business mobility;
  • Improve upon the newly-launched BizApec.com to ensure that it remains a useful, relevant and dynamic one-stop information portal for conducting business in the region;
  • Intensify cooperation towards E-government, recognising its potential for efficiency gains, improved public accessibility to government services and to act as a catalyst for the business sector to adopt e-commerce;
  • Affirm commitment to the moratorium on the imposition of customs duties on electronic transmissions until the next WTO Ministerial Conference, acknowledge the importance of avoiding unnecessary measures restricting its use and development, and call for establishing an ad hoc analytical taskforce in the WTO which would examine how WTO rules are relevant to the evolution of electronic commerce;
  • Implement the accord to streamline conformance requirements for computers and peripherals and mutual recognition arrangements on telecommunications equipment;
  • Implement the agreement to promote strong management practices for software and other intellectual property assets by users through a program of information and technical cooperation;
Building human capacity and entrepreneurship development
  • Develop a Network of Skills Development Centers from across the Asia-Pacific region, in close collaboration with the private sector, to enhance understanding of training needs and deliver programs that will support the business requirements of local industries;
  • Convene a High Level Symposium on E-Commerce and Paperless Trading in 2001 to develop ecotech and capacity building programs;
  • Continue working collaboratively in promoting quality education, including basic education, emphasising the use of IT in a learning society, sharing ideas and experiences in facing common challenges and exploiting opportunities presented by the rapid developments of technology, including in the area of distance learning;
  • Work towards the creation of an APEC Cyber Education Network, connecting research institutions and teachers? training institutions specialised in utilising ICT in education;
  • Mobilise supports for the APEC Youth Internet Volunteers Program in providing training and instructions on the use of Internet for information, research and other educational purposes in digitally-disadvantaged economies;
  • Continue addressing lifetime employability through emphasising life-long learning in APEC?s education and human resources agenda, in recognition that, in times of rapid technological change, flexible labor markets are essential;
  • Strengthen APEC cooperation in science and technology with a view to creating effective domestic innovation systems;
  • Promote on an ongoing basis understanding and use of ICT in business, sharing of best practices in e-commerce, identifying of priorities and designing of tailor-made training / consulting programs.
  • Encourage cooperation with the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe) and other private sector entities to create a knowledge network as a resource for examining digital opportunities and policy positions.
Importance of knowledge

We welcome the APEC report on the Knowledge-Based Economy which focuses on the issues of business environment, innovation systems, human resource development and information and communication technology as valuable inputs in charting APEC?s future work in the new economy and urge Ministers to continue work on preparations of detailed plans for implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.