APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration in Los Cabos, Mexico
Leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
forum concluded their two-day meetings in Los Cabos, Mexico by
affirming their commitment to promote regional economic growth through
improved security, freer trade, structural reforms, and expanded use
of new technologies.
In an October 27 declaration, the leaders pledged to continue their
efforts to liberalize trade at the multilateral level, with a firm
statement of support for the new round of World Trade Organization
(WTO) talks launched in November 2001 in Doha, Qatar. Most notably,
they agreed that one of the objectives of the global negotiations
should be “the abolition of all forms of agricultural export
subsidies, and unjustifiable export prohibitions and restrictions.”
The declaration includes the leaders’ statement of support for the
early accession of Russia and Vietnam to the WTO.
The pursuit of open trade at the regional level continues as well,
with leaders pledging “to continue and accelerate” movement toward the
goals set at the 1994 APEC meetings in Bogor: the complete,
comprehensive elimination of tariffs and trade barriers in all sectors
by 2010 for developed economies and by 2020 for developing economies.
The leaders also endorsed the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan,
which will implement their existing commitment to cut transaction
costs by five percent in the APEC region by 2006. The plan includes
measures such as customs streamlining and the use of increased
transparency to attract new investment to region.
Underlining the importance of transparency in government and business,
the leaders issued a separate statement dealing exclusively with
transparency, in which they pledged to implement new transparency
standards for APEC, and directed that these be implemented “as soon as
possible, and in no case later than January 2005.”
A third statement, on trade and the digital economy, contains a set of
targets related to trade policies for the new global economy, the
The leaders also described terrorism as “a profound threat to our
vision” and committed to taking a series of concrete steps that will
protect and make more efficient the flows of trade, finance, and
Following is the text of the 10th APEC economic leaders’ declaration:
APEC ECONOMIC LEADERS’ DECLARATION
Los Cabos, Mexico
27 October 2002
We gathered in Los Cabos for the 10th annual APEC Economic Leaders’
Meeting to strengthen economic growth by implementing the APEC vision
of free, open and prosperous economies. We agreed on the importance of
fighting terrorism, which poses a profound threat to our vision. We
resolved to continue and accelerate progress towards the achievement
of the Bogor goals as a central element to deliver our ultimate goal
of equitable and shared prosperity, and concurred on the need to
maximize political support for the pursuit of free and open trade and
We acknowledged that APEC is engaged in the implementation of
important measures, consistent with the theme of this year’s meeting
“Expanding the Benefits of Cooperation for Economic Growth and
Development — Implementing the Vision.” We are determined to
translate our APEC vision into concrete benefits for the wider APEC
community through greater assessment, accountability and action. We
affirmed our commitment to a more inclusive world economy, notably
through our individual and joint efforts on micro-enterprises, access
to information, human capacity building, financing and health.
Implementing the APEC Vision of Free and Open Trade and Investment
We discussed the fundamental contribution of trade to economic growth,
and the need for APEC to strongly support the multilateral trading
system, while implementing our commitments.
— We called on Ministers to continue negotiations that will open
markets and enhance the multilateral trading system, foster economic
growth and poverty reduction particularly in developing economies,
promote sustainable development, improve disciplines, improve WTO
coherence with other institutions, and provide opportunities for all
citizens of the world.
— We welcomed the launch of new multilateral trade negotiations in
Doha and encouraged all economies to pursue substantive negotiations
in all areas of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) by the agreed
timelines to ensure that the deadline of 1 January 2005 to conclude
such negotiations is met. We called for progress across all areas in
the lead-up to the 2003 WTO Fifth Ministerial Conference in Cancun.
— We agreed that these negotiations hold the prospect of real gains
for all economies, and particularly developing economies, in the areas
of agricultural reform, improved market access for goods and services,
and clarification and improvement of trade disciplines.
— We agreed that one of the objectives of the negotiations should be
the abolition of all forms of agricultural export subsidies, and
unjustifiable export prohibitions and restrictions.
— We also remain committed to on-going work in the negotiating group
on rules. Such negotiations are aimed at clarifying and improving
disciplines under the Agreements on the Implementation of Article VI
of the GATT 1994 and on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, while
preserving the basic concepts, principles and effectiveness of these
agreements and their instruments and objectives.
— We agreed that APEC should further contribute to the DDA
negotiations by encouraging and coordinating confidence building
activities in all areas of the agenda, including investment,
competition, trade facilitation, transparency in government
procurement, and trade and environment.
— We welcomed work in APEC to ensure all economies develop the
capacity to participate effectively in the DDA negotiations. We
encouraged the WTO to build on APEC’s leadership towards more
effective and coherent programs and delivery of trade-related
— We supported the early accession of Russia and Viet Nam to the WTO.
— We called for an exchange of views in APEC on regional and
bilateral trade agreements, noting that these agreements need to be
consistent with WTO rules and disciplines and APEC’s goals and
We discussed how to implement pro-growth policies in the Asia-Pacific
region. Last year we agreed on an updated vision for APEC in the
Shanghai Accord that stressed implementation of commitments to expand
trade and investment, broadened the basic mission to include new
economic developments, and underscored the need for economic and
We recognized the significant progress made during this year and
acknowledged the importance of the timely implementation of the
Shanghai Accord which will advance our commitment to achieve the Bogor
goals and support the multilateral trading system. Today, in Los
— Endorsed the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan which will
implement our commitment to cut transaction costs by five percent in
the APEC region by 2006. We recognized the significant economic and
trade benefits which can accrue from trade facilitation and took
special note of the Action Plan’s call for providing appropriate
capacity building assistance to developing economies. We directed our
Ministers to continue moving forward with the selection and
implementation of trade facilitating actions and measures and to
assess the benefits of associated transaction cost reductions.
— Adopted the attached Statement to Implement APEC Transparency
Standards, and directed that these standards be implemented as soon as
possible, and in no case later than January 2005. We agreed that
economies that may implement these standards earlier, under domestic
law or an international agreement, will accord their benefits
immediately to all APEC economies.
— Endorsed Pathfinder Initiatives on advance passenger information
systems; the revised Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and
Harmonization of Customs Procedures; electronic SPS [sanitary and
phyto-sanitary] certification (e-cert); electronic certificates of
origin; mutual recognition arrangement of conformity assessment on
electrical and electronic equipment parts II and III; and corporate
— Adopted the attached Statement to Implement the APEC Policies on
Trade and the Digital Economy, which contains a set of targets related
to trade policies for the New Economy, also as a pathfinder
— Urged all APEC members to consider participating in these
initiatives and instructed officials to continue to identify
pathfinder initiatives that will deliver real benefits to APEC
— Praised the strengthened Peer Review process of the Individual
Action Plans for monitoring our process to achieving the Bogor goals.
— Endorsed the broadened Osaka Action Agenda, which reflects our
strong commitment to the achievement of the Bogor goals, while
responding to changes in the global and regional economy.
Strengthening Economic Fundamentals
We discussed economic recovery and noted that uncertainties on the
strength and pace of the expansion still remain. In this context, it
is crucial to strengthen the soundness and efficiency of financial
systems, particularly through better credit culture and strengthening
of banking supervision, and to continue with broader structural,
regulatory and institutional reform, which complement open market
policies, promote sustained economic growth and good governance,
withstand economic shocks and create a better business environment for
— We welcomed the outcomes of the Ninth Finance Ministers’ Process.
We firmly believe that prudent and transparent fiscal management will
help maintain macroeconomic stability, lower interest rates and raise
— We resolved to work towards avoiding structural fiscal deficits and
enhancing the efficiency of public expenditure.
— We agreed to promote more openness, diversity, and competitiveness
in our financial markets, including through the development of
regional bond markets. In this connection, we commended the Finance
Ministers’ initiative to organize policy dialogues to identify
impediments to the development of securitization and credit guarantee
markets and to develop detailed action plans and report progress to
APEC Leaders in 2003.
— We recognized that adequate levels of savings are necessary for
economic stability and growth, and that it is essential to put in
place the institutional framework and structural reforms that allow
the most efficient allocation of savings so that both domestic and
foreign savings are channeled into productive investment.
— We resolved to strengthen trust in markets and investor confidence
by implementing measures to improve corporate governance standards and
practices in APEC member economies and promote the transparency of
policies affecting trade and investment. We recognized the need for
member economies to regularly review their corporate governance
practices to reflect the changing market environment.
— We welcomed the implementation of the e-APEC Strategy and called
for accelerated work to put in place sound macroeconomic policies, a
legal and regulatory regime that will stimulate investment and
technology development to promote e-business and broadband networks,
and programs to ensure that our people have access to the Internet and
the skills to use it.
— We endorsed the commitment of APEC Energy Ministers to energy
market reform and greater transparency to attract the significant
private investment needed to ensure that our region’s growth and
development goals are supported by adequate energy infrastructure.
— We acknowledged the importance of structural reform in achieving
trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and agreed to
further promote dialogue and work in this area.
Counter-Terrorism and Economic Growth
We discussed the challenge posed to the region’s security and
prosperity by terrorist organizations, noting the need to strengthen
security while maintaining the smooth flow of goods, capital and
people that has been key to the region’s economic growth. We welcomed
the efforts of member economies and APEC fora in response to the 2001
Leaders’ Statement on Counter-terrorism.
— We condemned in the strongest terms recent terrorist acts in the
APEC region, and reaffirmed our determination to enhance cooperation
on countering and responding to terrorism.
— We adopted the Los Cabos Statement on Fighting Terrorism and
Promoting Growth, in which we commit to taking a series of concrete
steps that will protect and make more efficient the flows of trade,
finance, and information.
— We called for the development of capacity building programs to
assure that all economies are able to implement all elements of the
— We also endorsed the strengthening of energy security in the region
under the mechanism of the APEC Energy Security Initiative, notably
the reporting of monthly oil data, which was highly commended by the
8th International Energy Forum, last September.
Towards Equitable and Shared Prosperity
We discussed APEC’s work on capacity building and economic and
technical cooperation. In order to enhance our accountability, we
instructed Ministers to improve the focus of our economic and
technical cooperation and capacity building objectives and ensure that
our actions are duly monitored and assessed, fully support APEC’s
trade and investment liberalization and facilitation goals and address
the challenges of globalization.
We agreed on the need to build partnerships with international
financial organizations and the private sector in the pursuit of APEC
capacity building and economic and technical cooperation objectives.
We acknowledged that it is essential to assess our work to ensure that
economic and technical cooperation and capacity building objectives
are effectively implemented. The involvement of the APEC Secretariat
in this work is fundamental, and we acknowledged the need to also
involve other APEC stakeholders in this work such as ABAC, Women
Leaders’ Network and the APEC Study Centers.
We commended the realization of the Dialogue on Globalization and
Shared Prosperity as a central effort to discuss the benefits and
challenges of globalization in a constructive manner.
— We noted the importance of addressing the social dimensions of
globalization and acknowledged the need for developing social safety
nets to minimize the costs of structural change.
— We recognized that globalization is the driving force of economic
progress and agreed on the need to aim our economic and technical
cooperation activities to empower people, as well as micro, small and
medium enterprises, through improved access to information, human
capacity building, financing and health care.
— We noted that Internet use in APEC had more than doubled since we
set our connectivity goal in Brunei in 2000. We reiterated our
commitment to realizing our goal of universal access by the year 2010
and we recognized the importance of focusing on further action on
connectivity for rural areas; micro, small and medium enterprises;
women; youth; and the disabled.
— We noted the contribution of the e-APEC Strategy, the Beijing
Initiative on Human Capacity Building and the APEC Human Capacity
Building Strategy for the New Economy as an effective response to the
need for transforming the digital divide into a digital opportunity.
We welcomed the expansion of cyber-education and called for more
activities aimed at improving teacher quality, promoting language
study and facilitating more use of distance learning. We also welcomed
significant progress in the revitalization of the APEC Education
Foundation and expansion of the Consortium for APEC Cyber Education
— We welcomed the outcomes of the Meeting of Ministers Responsible
for SMEs and noted the progress on the APEC Integrated Plan of Action
for the Development of SMEs (SPAN), including the incorporation of
micro-enterprises development issues. We also acknowledged the
substantial contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises to
trade and economic development in the APEC region. In this context, we
called on ministers and officials to develop programs to remove
obstacles inhibiting their growth, including as regional exporters.
— We welcomed the outcomes of the High Level Meeting on
Micro-enterprises and believe that attention to micro-enterprises is
key to making progress towards our objectives of gender equity,
economic growth, poverty alleviation, and the strengthening of social
safety nets. We welcomed the decision made by the Ministers
Responsible for SMEs to establish a sub-group for micro-enterprises
development. We call for coordination in developing the sub-group’s
action plan, taking into account the work being conducted by relevant
APEC fora and other APEC stakeholders.
— We agreed that micro-financing is crucial for the expansion of
micro-enterprises, and we praise efforts to develop and promote
market-based micro-finance to assure micro and small businesses and
entrepreneurs have access to capital. We agreed that government action
should create an enabling policy environment and a legal and
regulatory framework for the growth and expansion of sound and
sustainable micro-financing intermediaries, fostering their gradual
and full integration into the domestic financial system.
— We acknowledged that investing in health will benefit economic
growth, worker performance and productivity, and poverty alleviation.
We need to be more effective with our investment at every stage of the
health care process, including primary prevention against disease
risks, and focusing on most vulnerable populations.
— We instructed Ministers to build on work underway to establish a
regional public health surveillance network and an early warning
system to monitor and respond to critical disease outbreaks in the
region, and critical threats such as bio-terrorism.
— We directed Ministers to assist developing economies to build the
capacity to establish their own self-sustaining health-care services
— We called for the establishment of a life-sciences innovation forum
comprising government, private sector, and academia representatives to
develop a strategic plan for life-sciences innovation in the region.
This should include, as a priority, addressing the challenges of risk
detection and prevention, treatment and cure of the communicable and
lifestyle diseases which afflict our people.
We pledged to accelerate the safe use of biotechnology products based
on sound science and welcomed the conclusion of the first Agricultural
Biotechnology Dialogue. We called for capacity building initiatives
that support our goals.
We recognized that a healthy environment and a focus on the quality of
life of our citizens are essential to sustainable economic growth. In
this regard, we welcomed the contribution of APEC Energy Ministers,
Ministers responsible for ocean related matters and other APEC fora to
the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). We agreed to
continue making valuable contribution and follow-up work to the WSSD.
We commended progress under the 21st Century Renewable Energy
Development Initiative, and noted the importance of oceans for food
security and sustainable economic development.
Reaching Out to our Communities
We discussed efforts to engage in meaningful dialogue with our
communities, particularly business people, women, and youth. We also
discussed the need to involve a larger community in APEC’s activities.
— We welcomed the work of Ministers in updating APEC guidelines on
non-member participation to make them more encouraging of genuine
engagement with our communities and directed Ministers to implement
the guidelines by ensuring APEC fora are proactive in identifying and
engaging outside organizations.
— We welcomed ABAC’s report on “Sharing Development to Reinforce
Global Security”. We place great value on ABAC’s contribution to the
APEC agenda and have instructed Ministers to consider the report
carefully. We noted that APEC is already pursuing a number of
initiatives identified by ABAC in areas such as counter-terrorism,
corporate governance, promotion of micro-enterprises development and
support for the WTO Doha Development Agenda.
— We endorsed APEC’s work on gender issues and welcomed the
recommendations of the Second Ministerial Meeting on Women. We
recognized the need to eliminate gender inequalities in social and
economic life, particularly recognizing the value of the multiple
roles that women play in the economy. We also recognized the unique
challenges globalization presents for women, including indigenous
— We welcomed the outcomes of the APEC Young Leaders’ and
Entrepreneurs Forum with Social Responsibility, which provided a
valuable opportunity for young entrepreneurs to discuss the
opportunities afforded by the new economy.
— We reaffirmed our belief in APEC’s fundamental principles,
including voluntarism, consensus-building, individual and collective
actions, flexibility, and open regionalism.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
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