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U.S. Department of State
95/11/16: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Intervention
Office of the Spokesman


                        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                        Office of the Spokesman 
 
                             (Osaka, Japan) 
______________________________________________________________________ 
TEXT AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY                        November 16, 1995 
 
 
 
            ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION MINISTERIAL  
                             INTERVENTION  
                                  BY 
                 SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
 
                            New Otani Hotel 
                              Osaka, Japan 
 
Minister Kono, Minister Hashimoto, Excellencies, colleagues and friends:  
It is a pleasure to join you at this year's ministerial meeting of the 
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.  Let me take this opportunity 
to express my deep appreciation to our Japanese hosts.  Prime Minister 
Murayama, Minister Kono, Minister Hashimoto, and their colleagues have 
worked hard to make our meetings in Osaka a success.  
 
After six years of progress and vision, APEC now faces a crucial seventh 
year of decision.  As the guiding force for economic growth and 
integration in the world's most dynamic region, APEC must not only 
sustain the momentum it has achieved over the last two years.  It must 
begin to take concrete and far-reaching actions to open up trade and 
investment in the Asia Pacific region.  If APEC is truly to make 
history, it must produce results. 
 
The American people in particular have a great stake in APEC's success.  
APEC's members include our three largest bilateral trading partners -- 
Canada, Japan, and Mexico.  More than two and a half million jobs depend 
on our exports to APEC members in East Asia alone.  Four out of the ten 
economies that the United States has identified as vital Big Emerging 
Markets belong to APEC. 
 
The breathtaking transformation of the Asia-Pacific region over the past 
half-century testifies to its remarkable economic growth.  Previously 
underdeveloped societies have become modern nation-states offering broad 
opportunities to their people.  The Pacific Rim has become the free 
market's newest frontier.  Within the span of one generation, bicycles 
and sampans have given way to subways and supertankers as Asian 
economies have converted themselves into economic dynamos.  Thirty years 
ago, Asia accounted for only four percent of the world's economy; today 
it accounts for 25 percent.   
 
This growth is transforming the vast Pacific, turning the seas and skies 
that once divided us into channels for commerce and cooperation.  More 
than 40 percent of U.S. trade is with Asia.  Trade within APEC now 
accounts for almost 70 percent of the trade totals of its member 
economies.  And investment among them continues to grow.  American firms 
are helping to construct airports in Malaysia.  Indonesian companies are 
putting up hotels in Vietnam.  Korean companies are manufacturing 
computer components in the United States.  Australian engineering firms 
are paving roads in Indonesia.  And a Singaporean brewery is bottling 
beer in Cambodia. 
 
The dramatic growth and integration of the Asia-Pacific region that I 
have seen in cities like Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta is not an accident, 
but a reflection of the energy and vision of its diverse peoples.  It is 
that energy and vision that must continue to inspire APEC's efforts.  
 
When the ministers of APEC's original 12 members met in Canberra in 
1989, they recognized that the best way to sustain our region's dynamism 
was to ensure that our economies grew together.  In a rapidly developing 
region where skyscrapers were going up next to rice paddies, that meant 
cooperating to address shared practical challenges like breaking 
transportation bottlenecks, harmonizing technical standards, and easing 
strains on the environment.  By expanding trade and investment among our 
economies, APEC's members would help create jobs and opportunity on both 
sides of the Pacific.  By establishing stronger ties among our nations, 
they would promote regional stability. 
 
When President Clinton took office, he understood that the security and 
prosperity of the United States in the coming century depends in large 
part on the prosperity and stability  of the Asia-Pacific region.  He 
recognized APEC's potential both to spur trade and investment and to lay 
the basis for what he called "a community of shared interests, shared 
goals, and a shared commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation." 
 
That is why President Clinton took the initiative two years ago to 
invite APEC Leaders to Seattle.  There, at Blake Island, the leaders 
recognized "an opportunity to build a new foundation for the Asia-
Pacific that harnesses the energy of our diverse economies, strengthens 
cooperation, and promotes prosperity."  
 
Last year in Bogor, with the leadership of President Soeharto, the 
leaders gave life to the vision of Blake Island by issuing the historic 
Bogor Declaration that calls for free and open trade in the Asia Pacific 
region by the year 2020.  They set that ambitious goal because they 
agreed that a joint commitment to liberalization is the best way to 
accelerate growth and development in each of our economies.      
 
Now, these declarations must be translated into actions.  As the Chinese 
saying goes, "words must count and deeds must yield results."  At this 
ministerial and Leader's Meeting, APEC must undertake the hard work of 
moving from a vision to a practical blueprint for action.  We are 
charged with devising an Action Agenda that takes concrete steps to 
promote growth and reduce economic disparities. 
 
The proposed Action Agenda before us sets forth 15 specific, practical 
areas where we can make immediate progress toward creating a common 
business environment in a giant market of 2.1 billion people.  This 
nuts-and-bolts work might seem to lack the drama and novelty of our 
earlier meetings.  But while it may not make for big headlines, it does 
make for bigger bottom lines. 
 
For example, different product standards, technical specifications, 
inspection requirements and performance tests are in force across the 
region.  The Action Agenda calls on us to begin taking steps to align 
them with international standards.  Bottom line:  By doing so, we can 
break down trade barriers and cut costs for business.  The Action Agenda 
also calls for us to simplify and harmonize customs standards.  Bottom 
line:  Our businesses will find it faster and cheaper to import and 
export if all our member economies meet our commitment to follow the 
Kyoto Convention by 1998.   
 
In addition to taking these and the other concrete steps  provided for 
in the Action Agenda, we expect that our leaders will commit to a series 
of early actions that demonstrate their determination to achieve free 
trade and investment.  Such "downpayments" will help build the momentum 
we need to meet the commitment we made in the Bogor Declaration.  The 
first and most important down payment for the United States is to 
implement the Uruguay Round fully, promptly and, in some areas, at a 
higher level of discipline than required by the agreement. 
 
Implementing the liberalization elements of the Action Agenda 
successfully will require close adherence to three guiding concepts that 
I call the "three C's"  -- comprehensiveness, comparability, and 
consultation: 
 
First, comprehensive coverage.  We must maintain our leaders' commitment 
to liberalize all sectors of our economies by the 2010/2020 deadline.  
The growing integration of our economies means that when one member 
protects even one sector, many members  suffer lost economic 
opportunities as a result. 
  
Given the diversity of our economies, it is appropriate that we have 
some flexibility in the pace and sequencing of our actions.  We will 
liberalize gradually because the Bogor Declaration gives us time to 
adjust before open trade is fully realized.  But we must include all 
sectors in the Osaka Action Agenda.  Failure to do so would risk 
unraveling the core of our Bogor commitment and undermining APEC's 
credibility and influence as a force for global liberalization. 
 
Second, comparability.  As we liberalize our economies, we must ensure a 
comparable level of opportunities and benefits for the peoples of all 
the APEC member economies.  We do not have to take identical steps, but 
the steps we take should produce comparable results.  Each of us can 
take difficult steps if all of us are taking difficult steps.  
 
Third, consultation.  To ensure comparability, we must engage in a 
continuing process of consultation.  Consultation will help keep the 
process of liberalization moving forward.  We all need to meet face-to-
face to review where we stand in our liberalizing efforts and to see 
where we are going. 
 
While these "three C's" should guide the first part of our Action 
Agenda, we must not forget the "fourth C" -- cooperation.  Since its 
inception in 1989, APEC has made a tangible contribution to the 
development of each of our economies.  Beyond the liberalization and 
facilitation of trade, APEC must broaden its efforts under the second 
part of our Action Agenda to promote economic and technical cooperation.  
Whether in human resources, science and technology, or infrastructure, 
we must continue to spur development by harnessing the diversity of 
experience and outlook that is one of APEC's greatest strengths. 
 
Last year, I introduced three initiatives consistent with the priorities 
for cooperation that President Soeharto had identified in his capacity 
as chairman.  Let me briefly review their status:   
 
I am pleased to announce that the APEC Education Foundation that I 
proposed has now been incorporated.  The Foundation will support 
research, scholarship, and academic exchange activities among our 
economies.  It will also strengthen cooperation among the APEC Study 
Centers that are the key component of the Leaders Education Initiative 
proposed by the United States at Blake Island.  These human links are 
essential not just to economic development but to building a Pacific 
community of shared values and interests.  I look forward to the 
formation of a Board of Governors and Advisory Council that fully 
reflect our region's excellence in education and scholarship, and I hope 
that the Foundation will begin making grants next year.  
 
I also proposed a meeting of transport ministers to address our massive 
infrastructure needs.  Without safe and efficient harbors, airports, 
railroads and highways, the Asia-Pacific is in danger of having its 
vital arteries of commerce blocked off or choked by bottlenecks and dead 
ends.  My colleague Secretary Pena will review the outcome of the 
ministerial he hosted last June in Washington.  I am pleased that we 
were able to encourage competition in the transport sector, examine ways 
to improve our facilities, and bolster our cooperation and training in 
critical areas such as safety and security. 
 
Finally, I proposed at last year's ministerial that APEC members agree 
to transform the ad hoc Pacific Business Forum into  a permanent APEC 
Business Advisory Committee.  The United States believes that this 
initiative will strengthen private sector participation in the working 
groups and provide APEC with invaluable advice on our efforts to expand 
trade and investment.  I am glad that the Action Agenda takes this 
important step, and I look forward to working with the Committee to 
ensure that its voice is heard. 
 
After all, the real test of APEC's success will be whether its work has 
practical relevance to the business community.  The private sector 
remains the catalyst of this region's dynamism.  That is why APEC's job 
is to remove impediments that unnecessarily restrict business activity.  
Just as the Boeing Company's computer network enables engineers in 
America and Japan to work at the same time on the same design, APEC 
should permit our businesses to function effectively across a dozen time 
zones and languages.  We can only achieve that goal by considering 
business views closely.  
 
The Action Agenda addresses another area of critical importance to 
business -- liberalization and transparency in government procurement 
markets.  Most of the monumental volume of infrastructure projects in 
developing APEC economies, already equaling about $200 billion a year, 
is government-generated.  The Action Agenda includes a guideline that 
calls upon each APEC economy to "enhance the transparency of its 
government procurement regimes and its government procurement 
information."  Member economies will "develop, by 2000, a set of non-
binding principles on government procurement" among other collective 
actions in this area.  
 
Next year in Manila, we should agree to accelerate the adoption of these 
principles.  Their adoption at the earliest possible date will be an 
important step in guiding the efforts of member economies to achieve the 
greatest possible transparency in government procurement.  As in so many 
other areas of focus for APEC, improvements in any member economy 
ultimately benefit every member economy. 
 
The adoption of APEC principles on government procurement can make an 
even greater practical impact if we intensify our efforts.  I believe 
that a working group should identify the highest standards and best 
practices already in effect across the region and report back to us next 
year in Manila.  As we work to strengthen national laws and regulations 
addressing government procurement, APEC members could draw on specific 
practices in areas such as timely public notice of procurement 
opportunities, use and articulation of objective criteria for awarding 
contracts, and a mechanism for unsuccessful bidders to appeal to an 
administrative entity other than the awarding agency.   
 
The entire region shares an overriding stake in ensuring that our 
government procurement practices meet world-class standards.  Our 
economies share a stake in the most efficient use of scarce capital -- 
and in meeting infrastructure needs through the best technology and 
service the private sector can offer.  Our companies share a stake in 
bidding practices that reward low cost and high quality -- and in 
business environments that are equitable and predictable.  And our 
peoples share a stake in the wise use of their resources -- and in 
public institutions that foster respect for the rule of law.  I look 
forward to working with my colleagues to strengthen APEC's commitment to 
transparency over the next year. 
 
Our officials have worked hard over the past twelve months to forge a 
consensus document that reflects our economic diversity and, more 
importantly, reinforces our shared commitment.  I believe our Senior 
Officials have found the right balance between a flexible, yet credible 
approach for achieving our trade and investment liberalization and 
economic cooperation objectives.  I commend warmly the spirit of 
compromise, cooperation and common purpose that has characterized their 
efforts and that has produced the draft that we will finalize today.  
With this spirit, APEC promises to mature as a force for growth and 
prosperity across the region, and for trade liberalization around the 
world. 
 
As ministers, we face a great responsibility to our leaders in setting 
out an Action Agenda that meets the terms of their Bogor Declaration.  
But as we carry out our core commitments to liberalize trade and 
investment, we should keep in sight the broader vision of a Pacific 
community that first brought our leaders together.  The Action Agenda we 
devise in Osaka represents the focus of our efforts, but it should not 
limit our horizons.  We must be willing to explore new areas where 
APEC's spirit of cooperation can promote the prosperity and development 
of our diverse peoples.  
 
The Asia Pacific encompasses the oldest of civilizations and the newest 
of nations.  Its peoples embrace all creeds and colors.  And its 
economies span from subsistence agriculture to advanced aerospace.  But 
where some have seen a clash of cultures, APEC increasingly embodies a 
unity of interests.  The Action Agenda that we devise here in Osaka will 
guide our economies to achieve our common goal of free trade and 
investment by the year 2020.  Fulfillment of that common goal will bring 
us ever closer to achieving our shared Asia-Pacific destiny.  
 
Thank you very much. 
 
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