Innovative measures to prevent cross-border terrorist activities but permit the rapid movement of legitimate goods, services and people have been demonstrated at the APEC Smart Border Symposium in Vancouver from September 29-October 1.
The APEC Smart Border Symposium was organized by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), was supported by the Human Security Program and the Asia Pacific Conference and Research Fund of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Mr. Werner Knittel, Vice President of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters said the demonstration of the successful smart border model developed by Canada and the United States attracted a great deal of interest from the representatives of APEC's 21 Member Economies.
"APEC members are eager to learn from each other to adopt new measures that will enable free and open trade and also ensure the well being of their citizens," Mr. Knittel said.
"The success of the Canada-US Smart Border Agreement has now been studied closely by other APEC economies and this sharing of information and procedures will contribute to the security of the Asia-Pacific region.
"Measures implemented under the Canada-US Smart Border Agreement are based on the principle of risk management through the use of new technologies and intelligence filtering.
"Applying these measures enables border protection resources to be concentrated on higher-risk people and goods which then enable low-risk movements to pass efficiently through border points."
The symposium featured presentations from a number of Canadian and U.S. federal government departments and the private sector, and showcased various aspects of the Canada-US Smart Border Agreement in action. The sites visited by APEC Member Economy Representatives included the port of Vancouver, the Vancouver Airport and the Pacific Highway/Blaine Border Crossing. These locations were chosen to give participants an overview of how the Smart Border Agreement has impacted on sea, air and land transportation and travel.
The APEC Smart Border Symposium initiative is part of APEC's comprehensive response to terrorism that will be further advanced at the APEC Leaders' meeting in Bangkok on 20-21 October.
Canada and the United States released the Smart Border Declaration and committed to a 30-point Action Plan on December 12, 2001. This blueprint for action has four pillars of the secure flow of people, the secure flow of goods, secure infrastructure and information sharing, and coordination in the enforcement of these objectives.