The third APEC Automotive Dialogue Meeting was held in Bangkok on 3-5 April 2001. It was attended by over 200 representatives from thirteen APEC economies (Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam).

The Automotive Dialogue is a unique forum bringing together senior industry representatives and government officials to exchange perspectives on developments in the automotive industry in the region. Its goal is to foster integration and the full development of the competitive advantages of the regional industry. The Dialogue is the only region wide automotive forum that promotes open dialogue among all interested parties, it includes direct input by both industry and government, it has the ability to address a broad range of automotive issues, and can follow up on progress over the short term.

The Dialogue expressed its appreciation to Thailand for hosting the Dialogue. The efficiency and effectiveness of the Ministry of Industry in coordinating and managing the Dialogue enabled participants to focus on the important issues at hand.

Industry participants noted that Asia-Pacific continues to be seen as a key future growth region for the global automotive industry, and that regional companies needed to be effectively integrated into the global industry and market to prosper.

The Dialogue agreed to a wide range of actions and measures to support the integration and development of the automotive industry in the region, including:

  • To support the liberalization of auto trade in APEC economies on a step-by-step basis, with effective implementation of AFTA commitments identified as a key step in this regard.

  • To reaffirm the importance of the early commencement of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO.

  • Electronic commerce and information exchange were identified as important factors in the development of the regional industry and will be one particular focus of the Dialogue's future work. The Dialogue endorsed an APEC Automotive IT Manifesto and associated action plan including a study of national portal sites.

  • The Dialogue heard educational panels on the programs of the global vehicle manufacturers and Tier One suppliers to aid the development of automotive parts manufacturers. The use of Information Technology was identified as a key tool to expose regional suppliers to the global industry, and facilitate their transition to a global scale. The United States and Japan expressed an interest in working further with the regional suppliers to develop these capabilities.

  • In addition, the Dialogue endorsed an economic and technical cooperation proposal, which will facilitate training for ASEAN suppliers, to help them achieve global quality levels. The Dialogue endorsed this proposal with a view to having it be given further consideration by the APEC Budget Management Committee.

  • To appraise the APEC leadership of the outcomes of the Auto Dialogue, including the recommendations from the auto manufacturers and suppliers on micro and macro economic policies, with a focus on effective automotive policies and policies that act as barriers to growth.

  • To stress the direct trade impact of automotive technical regulations harmonization and to support APEC's work on this topic. The Dialogue adopted a set of "Principles of Technical Regulations Harmonization". The Dialogue will hold a special meeting on Technical Regulations to decide on future programs to advance Technical Regulation Harmonization.

  • To encourage the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures to implement the recommendations of their Collective Action Plan within the shortest possible timeframe, and to encourage industry and APEC economies to work together to develop customs workshops on auto specific issues.

  • To expand efforts to address traffic congestion and environmental challenges in the region.

  • To communicate the outcomes and proposals from this Dialogue meeting to APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade at their meeting in June, and work to develop an appropriate package for presentation to the APEC Ministers/Leaders' meetings taking place in Shanghai, China in October. This will be done in accordance with APEC procedures.

The next Dialogue will be jointly hosted by Japan and the United States, and will be held in early 2002.