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Pacific Currents

Pacific Currents is a discussion forum on Asia-Pacific economic issues. We welcome submissions from all stakeholders including academics, researchers, thought-leaders, civil society, business leaders; and other policy experts. Submissions should cover issues related to economic policy and integration in the region. Articles should be written for a general audience and not technical but should have a foundation in objective policy analysis. Articles should also conform with PECC nomenclature - if you are not familiar, the editor will provide you with appropriate guidelines. Acceptance of articles is entirely at the discretion of the Editor. Articles should be in an op-ed format of around 1000 words but longer submissions are also occasionally accepted. Submissions are done in the name of the author and represent their individual opinions and not those of the institutions that they work for. To submit an article, please send in Word format to:

72% of Asia Pacific Opinion Leaders Favor Plurilateral Services Negotiations

Global Services Network Update
republished from

Following the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Conference on Trade in Services in Hong Kong earlier this year, the PECC included in their annual survey of opinion leaders across the Asia Pacific the specific question "should APEC members take the lead in promoting a plurilateral agreement on services?"  72% of all respondents responded positively, with only 5% disagreeing. 70% percent of government officials responded positively, as did 76% of business leaders.

In every region, a large majority responded in favor of a services plurilateral. Support was strongest in South America (81%) followed by South East Asia (73%) with Oceania and North East Asia both at 71%, and North America at 65%. 

The PECC 'State of the Region 2011-2012' report, from which the graphic below is taken, was released on September 29 at the General Meeting of PECC in Washington DC and is available at

PECC General Meeting Panelists Call for New Ways Forward on Services

At the annual meeting of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) in Washington on September 29, a panel of experts called for new ways forward on the liberalization of trade and investment in services.  The panelists included Professor Christopher Findlay (University of Adelaide), Bob Vastine (Coalition of Service Industries (U.S.)), Jane Drake-Brockman (Australian Services Roundtable), Gloria Pasadilla (Asian Development Bank Institute), Sebastien Saez (World Bank), Ben Shepherd (Developing Trade Consultants) and Sherry Stephenson (Organisation of American States).  The panelists discussed  the importance of services for the global economy, the reasons for the meagre results to date in the WTO negotiations on services, ideas for new processes to move services trade liberalization forward, and the contribution which APEC Leaders could make.  Panelists called for new services initiatives in both APEC and the WTO, and discussed the need to develop principles for services regulation and to innovate with respect to negotiating modalities to enable a stand-alone approach to services negotiations on a plurilateral basis.  For a video of the panel, as well as copies of the presentations, click here:

Business Representatives Urge APEC Officials, at San Francisco Meetings, to Focus More on Services

Representatives from both the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) urged APEC officials, at their September 13-23 meetings in San Francisco, to give more focus to services trade and investment liberalization as well as to domestic regulation of services sectors. Meanwhile, a new study has become available sponsored by the APEC Policy Support Unit on the benefits from structural reform in transport, telecommunications and energy services.  The study provides valuable insights into, and measurement of the gains from, trade reform in these sectors, across a variety of APEC economies. For a copy of the study, click here:  

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