APEC's Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) will present its Annual Report that highlights the CTI's achievements to Ministers tomorrow.
Over the past year these developments have included the establishment of guidelines to strengthen intellectual property rights enforcement and a framework to enhance the capacity of developing economies to undertake further investment liberalization. The CTI has also worked to help economies to negotiate more transparent and effective Regional Trade Arrangements (RTAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
The report that will be presented at the 18th APEC Ministerial meeting in Ha Noi tomorrow provides details of the efforts of the sub-groups and four industry dialogues that are overseen by the CTI. These include areas such as enhancing business traveler mobility and WTO capacity building.
One of the major achievements of the APEC 2006 year has been the development of Model Measures on RTAs/FTAs. The measures are designed to enhance consistency and improve the quality of RTAs/FTAs signed between APEC Member Economies.
There are currently more than 20 RTAs/FTAs in force in the APEC region and with a lack of continuity between many of these business is faced with what is described as the confusing spaghetti bowl or noodle bowl effect of having so many differing RTAs/FTAs. The various chapters of the model measures being developed by APEC continues to expand and includes the areas of market access for goods, technical barriers to trade, transparency, government procurement and cooperation.
Other outcomes from the year include the final review of the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP), which concluded that APEC's work to reduce business transaction costs was progressing well and the development of a framework on investment liberalization and facilitation. Particularly for developing economies, this framework outlines pathways that can be taken to ensure that investment in the domestic economy is more transparent. The framework also encourages greater collaboration with business on exploring ways to improve the regional investment climate.
The report also outlines the CTIs' work to implement an APEC Framework for the Integration of Gender in the Asia-Pacific, the reform and operational enhancement of APEC working forums and the spread of the Regional Movement Alert System that has been developed to detect the illegal use of stolen or lost passports.
The full report will be presented to APEC Ministers tomorrow and can then be downloaded at www.apec.org.