A report tracking APEC Member Economies progress toward liberalising telecommunications sectors has shows that economies are succeeding in reducing trade barriers in the sector.
Mrs. Salma Jalife, Chair of APEC's Telecommunications and Information Working Group said the study gives a clear picture of the benefits provided by telecommunications reforms in APEC economies.
"Reform paths taken by each Member Economy and the pace at which change takes place has a direct impact on the development and maturity of the regional telecommunications sector," Mrs. Jalife said.
"The report is sensitive to these differences which show that one size does not fit all."
Mr. Colin Oliver, Convenor of the APEC-TEL Liberalisation Steering Group, welcomed the report as being very timely as it is ten years since APEC's Free Trade and Investment, or Bogor Goals, were set.
"This review of the TEL Ministers' vision of a liberalised telecommunications market will be a great resource for the industry," Mr. Oliver said.
"All economies have made significant progress and are well on the way to achieving the vision and objectives set by APEC Ministers for this sector.
"As evidenced in the report, ultimately the winners from reform in the telecommunications sector are consumers. Reforms have resulted in the proliferation of affordable telecommunications services and increased accessibility, particularly for people in developing countries.
"Telecommunications reform is directly contributing to reducing the 'digital divide.'
"This report finds a clear and positive correlation between liberalisation and the development of telecommunications. I hope the report encourages similar reviews in other sectors."
The report, "A Stocktake of Progress Toward the Key Elements of a Fully Liberalised Telecommunications Sector in the APEC Region", will be considered at APEC-TEL 30 where proposed actions for TEL Ministers meeting in 2005 will be discussed.
The report was prepared through collaboration between the APEC Study Centres' in Melbourne (Monash University) and Chinese Taipei (Taiwan Institute of Economic Research) and is now available on the APEC Website and has also been posted at TEL web-site.