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This year marks the 25th anniversary of APEC and the 20th anniversary of the Bogor Goals. As a champion of regional economic cooperation and a founding partner of APEC, PECC has an important role to play in helping the APEC policy making process by providing proactive policy advice and support. 

This year's APEC theme is "Shaping the future through Asia-Pacific partnership" under which China has identified three priorities: 1) Advancing regional economic integration; 2) Promoting innovative development, economic reform, and growth; and 3) Strengthening comprehensive connectivity and infrastructure development. In support of these APEC priorities set out by China, PECC organized its 22nd General Meeting in Beijing just two months ahead of the APEC Leaders' Week. This lead time provided a unique opportunity for PECC members and the invited public audience to provide intellectual input to this year's APEC process and beyond. It also served as a good opportunity to take a close look at China's economic development aspirations and its economic policy orientation.  

PECC Standing Committee meeting was held back-to-back with the General Meeting. PECC invites youth representatives to participate in General Meetings. about 40 students selected by member committees of PECC attended this year's meeting. 

 

 AGENDA

♦ WELCOME REMARKS & OPENING SPEECH

♦ SESSION 1. The New Normal: Economic Restructuring in the Asia-Pacific

♦ SESSION 2. Exploring the New Drivers and New Ways for Economic Growth

♦ CONCURRENT SESSIONS:

1) Urbanization and Sustainable Development of Cities - A ready engine to promote economic growth and cooperation

2) The Energy Challenge of Sustainable Development and Energy Security

3) Global Value Chains (GVCs) - A new perspective on trade and investment

4) Chines Entrepreneurs Participating in Regional Economic Cooperation

 

♦ SESSION 3. Financial Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific: Status Quo and Prospects

♦ SESSION 4. Regional Economic Integration: Principles, Pathways, and Vision

♦ CONCLUDING SESSION

 

Program for PECC General Meeting & Next Generation

Download the detailed program agenda for General Meeting with speakers

News clippings related to the GM XXII

Joint Seminar - Photo 7

The Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (HKCPEC) and the China National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation (CNCPEC) jointly held a seminar titled “Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region – Maintaining Stable and Sustainable Growth” on 30 June 2014 in Hong Kong. 

The current global economic climate is characterized by modest economic growth with remaining downside risks. Our common challenge is to explore viable means for maintaining stable and sustainable growth. The Joint HKCPEC-CNCPEC seminar provided a platform for more than 180 representatives from the academic, business and government sectors to examine how to promote and inject new impetus for growth through co-operation in the Asia-Pacific.

[Group photo: HKCPEC Chair, Professor Stephen Cheung (eighth from left); CNCPEC Chair, Ambassador Tang Guoqiang (seventh from left); HKCPEC Vice Chair, Mr. Raistlin Lau (third from right); and CNCPEC Vice Chair, Ambassador Wu Zhenglong (fourth from right) took a group photo with other guests.]

The Seminar consisted of four sessions:

During the first session on "Hong Kong's Contribution to the Growth of Regional Trade", speakers discussed and shared their views on the importance of the free flow of trade and investment as exemplified in Hong Kong in contributing to regional trade and propelling global economic growth. In particular, Hong Kong’s unique strengths in adapting to change, its open and free trade regime and role as gateway to China were highlighted as the major contributing factors to the prosperity of regional trade through Hong Kong.

In the second session on "Managing Supply Chain Disruptions", several major potential sources of disruption (e.g. changes in supply and demand, political risks etc.) were mentioned. Speakers shared their insights on possible solutions to address minimizing such disruptions and addressing "bottlenecks" through closer co-operation and FTA among economies in the region.

The topic of the third session was "Outlook for SMEs in a Changing Economic Climate." Speakers shared their views on the opportunities and threats brought by mobile technology and on-line trading platforms to SMEs, the attractiveness of Hong Kong to SMEs and the latest development of SMEs in China.

During the last session on the "Role of Technology in Shaping Trade and Business in the Asia-Pacific," speakers analyzed the latest trend and challenges in technological innovation and trade in the region, and the implications and role of APEC, the role that governments can play in promoting the development of innovation and technology in the region.

Further information of the seminar is available at HKCPEC’s website (http://www.hkcpec.org/events/event_2014-jun.html).

Photo 1

[Photo 1: HKCPEC Chair, Professor Stephen Cheung, delivers welcome remarks]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Photo 2

 [Photo 2: CNCPEC Chair, Ambassador Tang Guoqiang delivers opening remarks]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Photo 3

[Photo 3: From left: Principal Economist, Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit, Financial Secretary's Office, Ms. Elley Mao; Director, Enright, Scott & Associates Ltd, and Sun Hung Kai Properties Professor, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Hong Kong, Professor Michael Enright; Director of Research, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and HKCPEC Member, Mr. Nicholas Kwan; Chairman and CEO, First Eastern Investment Group, Mr. Victor Chu; and Jean Monnet Professor, School of Economics, and Director, Center for the World Economy Studies, Renmin University of China, Dr. Huang Weiping, during Session 1 panel discussion.]

 

 

  

 

 

Photo 4

[Photo 4: From left: Secretary General, PECC, Mr. Eduardo Pedrosa; Vice President of Research, Fung Global Institute, Mr. Patrick Low; Chief Executive, GS1 Hong Kong, and Vice-Chair, Sub-committee on Infrastructural Support, Hong Kong Logistics Development Council, Ms. Anna Lin; and Dean and Associate Researcher, Economic Research Institute for China and ASEAN, University of International Business and Economics, Professor Zhang Xiaojing, during Session 2 panel discussion.]

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

[Photo 5: From left: Director, Department of Emerging Economies, National Institute of International Strategies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and Deputy Director, Center for APEC and East Asian Cooperation, CASS, Dr. Shen Minghui; Chairman, Shui On Group, and Hong Kong, China's representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council, Mr. Vincent Lo; Director-General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong, Mr. Simon Galpin; Executive Director, German Pool Group Company Limited, and HKCPEC Member, Ms. Karen Chan; and TV Presenter, Bloomberg Television, Mr. John Dawson, share their views at Session 3 panel discussion.]

 

 

 

  

 

Joint Seminar - Photo 6[Photo 6: From left: Mr. Pedrosa; Director of Research, Asian Development Bank Institute, Mr. Ganeshan Wignaraja; Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, Mr. Allen Ma; and Researcher, Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Yu Jiang, share their views at Session 4 panel discussion.]

PECC Statement
20th Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade
Agenda Item 5: Official Observers’ Statements
17-18 May, 2014
Tang Guoqiang, Chair, CNCPEC
On behalf of PECC Co-chairs, Jusuf Wanandi and Donald Campbell


On the occasion of the 20th meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade as well as the 25th anniversary of APEC we congratulate you all on a tremendous track record of achievement. It is worth pausing for a moment to consider the changes that have taken place over that period. Global output has increased from around US$20 trillion to US$74 trillion, of that increase APEC economies accounted for almost 58 percent. At the same time, APEC’s exports of goods have increased from US$1.5 trillion to US$8.5 trillion and services from US$260 billion to over US$1.8 trillion.

Since the last meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade held in Surabaya we held our 21st General Meeting in Vancouver last June, a seminar on connectivity during APEC leaders’ week in Bali and most recently a conference in Singapore that addressed the priorities set by China as this year’s APEC host. Our statement today is based on these discussions as well as previous work we have undertaken of relevance to your agenda.

We focus our statement on two key issues: advancing regional economic integration and strengthening comprehensive connectivity.

Economic Context
This meeting takes place during a period of tremendous flux in the regional and global economies. At our General Meeting in Vancouver, we noted that there are some big fault lines developing in the region these include: growing income inequality; economic integration; and shifts in energy balances. Addressing these in a way that ensures continued prosperity requires greater cooperation and coordination. We therefore welcome the overall theme for this year of ‘Shaping the Future though Asia-Pacific Partnership.’

While the economic outlook is improving we are concerned that economic growth remains dependent on artificial stimulus and that the structural reforms needed to improve productivity have not been implemented. As was noted in the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects Report this year, many economies in the region are now growing at close to potential. This places even greater emphasis on the need for reform to boost potential growth. In this regard we look forward to your discussions on promoting innovative development and economic reform and growth.

The Development of the FTAAP Concept
As our leaders agreed 20 years ago in Bogor, the goal of APEC was for economic cooperation, which ‘will enhance the prospects of an accelerated, balanced and equitable economic growth.’ The means for achieving this was enhanced trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. While there has been substantial progress towards this goal many barriers still remain.

To this end, many, primarily the business community, frustrated by the lack of further progress, called for the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). This has been adopted by APEC as a long-term vision.

Advancing Regional Economic Integration
The economics of the FTAAP are compelling. The TPP and RCEP would result in increases to global GDP by US$223 billion and US$644 billion respectively but by far the biggest gains would come from an FTAAP – at US$1.9 trillion. While there are many different estimates that depend on the underlying assumptions made, one point is consistent – the biggest benefits come from agreements that are inclusive and of high quality.

We therefore welcome the emphasis this year on advancing regional economic integration and hope that this will lead to concrete progress and agreement on how to move from the various pathways to a high quality, inclusive trade regime. At our conference a few months ago, Singapore’s Minister for Trade, Mr. Lim Hng Kiang, not only suggested that it was time for the region to develop principles that would bring the pathways together but also what some of those might be.

We are responding to Minister Lim’s challenge and are establishing an expert group to further develop our thinking.

Global Value Chains and Trade Policy
One point that has come through our initial discussions on how to contribute the achievement of an FTAAP is that the production of goods and services is now largely done through global value chains. The shape and length of the value chain is determined by a number of factors, these include comparative advantage, trade policy and proximity to market. To ‘capture’ tasks or move up the value chain policy reforms are essential. Some of these reforms are best undertaken unilaterally, others in coordination. The biggest benefits in coordinated outcomes are arrived at when RTAs and the eventual market the goods and services are sold in are aligned.

We hope that through this framework that we are developing will provide a strong intellectual and practical foundation on which to build further progress towards an FTAAP. Moreover, they will help to guide the principles on which an FTAAP could be built.

There are many suggestions on what those principles should be, such as:
• Complete coverage
• Incorporating issues from the most contemporary agreements
• Bring to FTAAP the ‘over ambitious and beneficial portions’ of individual agreements
• Cumulative rules of origin
• Minimise non tariff barriers
• Adopt transparency and trade facilitation principles
• No backtracking
• A single undertaking
• Inclusivity
• Retain the end goal of global trade liberalisation

In our 2007 work on an FTAAP with ABAC, the following ideas were suggested:
• A unity of vision is necessary among the major economies
• The time frame of the process must not be too long
• An achievable outcome must be targeted
• There should be minimal interference from other RTA negotiations
• Chairmanship of the process should not be given to any of the major players
• Prior understanding on how to treat labor and the environment is necessary
• There must be willingness and an identified capacity to finance and support the negotiating process

Some of the recommendations on FTAAP PECC’s State of the Region Report 2012 were:

• The negotiations will have to reconcile high standards with the capacities and needs of diverse economies. One operational goal might be to limit agreements to provisions that “lead by a decade” – that is, to standards that are high, but no higher than could be accepted by a reform-minded economy in 10 years.

• Another goal should be to include innovative provisions for cooperation to help reduce development gaps. Key areas for cooperation include improvement of economic institutions, upgrading of human resource quality, and the promotion of technology transfer.

• Trans-Pacific and Asian tracks of negotiations should be connected by a new, high-level dialogue. Such a dialogue could encourage substantive overlap between the tracks, ensure their compatibility with the end goal of region-wide free trade, and reduce political frictions.

A variety of more specific strategies have also been proposed in more recent debate: scheduling and step membership, RCEP first then TPP; identification of gaps and dialogue to close them, eg agreements on model chapters; complementary actions in other negotiations such as TiSA; multilateralisation


We will be building on the substantial work PECC has developed over the years on these issues. For example, in 2003, we proposed that APEC should develop a ‘Common Understanding on RTAs.’ In 2004, members of PECC debated and produced an Assessment of the Proposal for an FTAAP that was commissioned by our colleagues in ABAC. In 2007, again with ABAC, we undertook a study of the Political Economy of the FTAAP.

We commend this body of work to you but also believe that given the changes that have taken place in both the regional trade architecture as well as how businesses operate, there is an opportunity with the FTAAP to create a trade regime that is inclusive, business-friendly and job creating, and sets rules that could be multilateralized. This in essence will be the focus of the work we will be doing over the coming months to contribute to your efforts.

We hope that through our work we will be able to provide you with a clear and coherent set of recommendations underpinned by rigorous objective research that will lead to the best possible outcomes for the region.

The Global Trade System
The breakthrough in Bali at the WTO is a positive signal and that momentum must be carried forward. APEC which played such a critical role in the conclusion to the Uruguay Round should continue to support the WTO as the key global trade institution.

There is a need perhaps for greater reflection on the relationship of RTA/FTAs with the global trade system. While we are at pains to adhere to the Bogor Goals, we conveniently ignore that the same declaration eschewed the formation of an inward-looking trade bloc. The APEC Eminent Persons Group recommended that the principle of open sub-regionalism be applied to ensure the positive interaction between the various RTAs and the global system.

Since then the principle of ensuring that RTA/FTAs are supportive of the global system have been explicit and a variety of ideas have been floated. We hope that the current momentum for regional economic integration will similarly include language on this critical principle.

Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity
While there is little dispute that increased regional economic integration would boost growth, it does little to help resolve the problem of growing income inequality. Our State of the Region survey last year revealed that 40 percent of opinion-leaders in Southeast Asia believed that trade and investment liberalization have increased income inequality in their economy. An even larger group, 52 percent thought that the benefits of economic integration to their economy have been limited due to supply side constraints.

We emphasize that this survey is of opinion-leaders who work on Asia-Pacific issues – whether in government, business or civil society and the academe. This is a community that understands the economic rationale behind regional integration. The concern is that this reflects a weakening of the political constituency for the vision of an integrated Asia-Pacific that must be addressed.

APEC’s work on connectivity has the potential to do this. The supply side constraints are not just perceived but are well-known. The point that we make is that the connectivity work should be placed within the context of achieving APEC’s goals including regional economic integration as well as inclusive growth. For example, the literature on the economic benefits of integration reveals that some members gain more than others. This unevenness provides a case for further narrowing development gaps by providing financial and technical support for low-income economies, particularly with respect to trade-related infrastructure, customs modernization, enhancing SME development, and capacity building.1

Our recent discussions focused primarily on infrastructure element – physical – of the connectivity agenda. Previous PECC work has addressed many different aspects of connectivity in the region – including the potential for energy trade. This is a large and complex issue.

Another aspect of connectivity on which our community has worked on is people-to-people connectivity especially labor mobility. The key conclusions of that joint PECC- ABAC taskforce2 were that the ongoing demographic transitions in the region; widening differences in economic and educational development, and regionalization and globalization of industry would drive the pressure for increased movements of labor. In formulating our work in this area, the point was made that economic analyses clearly show that higher labor mobility brings more benefits than costs to economic growth in both importing and exporting economies.

This work was undertaken some six years ago, since then, the findings of our annual State of the Region survey indicate that these pressures are indeed increasing. In our 2013 survey, the shortage of available talent/skills was the ninth highest risk to economic growth. However, amongst business respondents, the shortage of available talent/skills ranked the third highest risk to growth, while for government respondents it was only the eleventh highest, indicating a need for much greater dialogue between stakeholders and the government on this issue.

Ministers, there is insufficient time here to go into depth on this issue, but as with all the other points we have raised, we offer years of work based on objective analysis on issues that we believe critical to the future of the region.

Finally, our next General Meeting will be held in Beijing in early September. We look forward to welcoming you there. It will be an excellent opportunity for officials to engage more directly with the stakeholder and thought-leader community that shapes public opinion on the issues that you address here in APEC.

______

1. Asian FTAs: Trends, Prospects and Challenges, By Masahiro Kawai Asian Development Bank Institute and Ganeshan Wignaraja, Asian Development Bank 30 June 2010 Presented at PECC-ADBI Conference on Post 2010 Trade Agenda.”
2. http://www.pecc.org/resources/labor/1950-demographic-change-a-international-labor-mobility-in-the-asia-pacific-region-synthesis-report

 

globe over oceanEnergy-related experts and industry leaders, who convened in Victoria, Canada in November 2013 for the first seminar on PECC energy transition project, called for further deliberation on the design of policy framework to accommodate renewable energies. The second seminar of the series was hosted by CHILPEC (Chile member committee of PECC) and took place in Santiago, Chile on June 24-25th, 2014. 

The seminar gathered representatives from the academic and business sectors as well as institutions which are involved in the policy development of renewable energy.

Session 1: Renewable energies to meet industrial demands and needs of isolated locations
1) Meeting energy demands while addressing the environmental concerns
2) MRE providing energy for coastal cities and isolated industrial/mining operations; Connecting MRE to the ground network to avoid blackout; Management and delivery of energy - do we need special networks?

Session 2: Development of marine and renewable energies: Promoting early acceptance
1) Challenges faced by MRE to guarantee uninterrupted availability and fight against natural risks (maintenance, anchorage, corrosion, currents, high winds, rogue waves…) 
2) Best locations for MRE development
3) Acceptance from public at large: environmental impact, impact on the energy bill. How best to satisfy demand for energy at the local level (housing, mining, fisheries)? 
5) Timeframe for MRE to become competitive vis-à-vis fossil fuels
4) Acceptance by stakeholder of the oceans: fisheries, transportation, recreational 

 

Session 3: Setting appropriate policies to develop renewable energies
1) Innovations for the development of new energies
2) What kind of policy, technical, financial support is needed to develop MRE?
- Benchmark France, UK, and Northern Europe 
- Policies set by PECC member economies
3) Setting an efficient government policy (local, national, and multilateral levels) – Unilateral policies versus a cooperative approach
4) The European perspective for development of and support to MRE 
 
Session 4: Developing cooperation between stakeholders to promote energy transition 
1) What policy measures are needed and work best: regulations, mandates, incentives; What are the best practices to promote cooperation?
2) Help governments and the private sector evaluate and identify the best, viable technologies for energy transition: a business point-of-view
3) Develop cooperation and partnership; exchange of best practices between stakeholders: networks, energy storage, water/ energy linkages 
 
Concluding session: Summary of discussions and recommendations for governments, business, and public

Click here for the program agenda & presentations

Click here to download executive summary

International Standards'PECC Guidelines for Good Corporate Governance Practice' (2001, pages 8-16) was published in 'International Standards: Annotated Corporate Social Responsibility Codes' (2014, Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited). Authored by Canadian lawyer, Kenning Marchant, it is a two-volume compendium carrying various international codes, standards and guidelines on CSR and environmental/ social governance, including stakeholder engagement, environment, consumer relations, disclosure, and reporting. The reference aims to promote global attention to sustainability standards by corporations, their professional advisers, and stakeholders. 

The PECC Guidelines was authored by Professor Stephen Y. L. Cheung, as the then chair of Core Group on Corporate Governance, PECC PARNet (Peer Assistance and Review Network), as a key outcome of the project and the report was released at the 14th PECC General Meeting hosted by Hong Kong in November 2001. In the aftermath of 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, PECC noted the critical importance of structural reforms in the governence of the business sector and that these reforms were necessary in order to strengthen the microeconomic base of the region's economies. PECC's work on corporate governance was initiated by PARNet under the leadership of Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors of the Philippines. Within PARNet, a core group was formed under the chairmanship of Professor Stephen Cheung which led to the guidelines. Transparency, accountability, and fairness are upheld as the guiding principles of corporate governance. 

“The inclusion of PECC’s Corporate Governance Guidelines in this collection of international standards is a testament to the work undertaken by the Peer Assistance and Review Network. Since then those dedicated individuals have continued their mission to improve corporate governance in the region not only by undertaking assessments of the implementation of best practices but also by providing training for corporate directors. The spirit of cooperation that underpinned our work continues through the Institutes of Directors in East Asia Network,” commented Professor Cheung.

Dr. Estanislao stated: "I am very happy to note that China is once again serving as the APEC Chair in 2014. It was our privilege to have worked with China, when it served as APEC chair the first time, on the principles and best practices of corporate governance, for consideration and possible adoption by APEC economies.

The leadership that China played at that time contributed towards removing the bias against modern corporate governance, with the bias arising from the widespread acknowledgment that the principles and best practices being then promoted were shaped by the more developed Western economies. With the adoption of the principles and best practices for corporate governance in APEC, under China’s leadership, there has been a growing recognition that indeed modern corporate governance, in fundamental respects, ought to be taken as a global imperative; it promotes greater inter-dependence between economies in the global community, whether developing or developed, and whether in the East or in the West.

There is now a growing need for corporate governance to move beyond mere compliance to a more performance-oriented discipline. With China once again being the APEC chair, I am certain that with her leadership, we can bring corporate governance to this higher level, where corporate governance becomes less a box-ticking exercise and more an exercise in transparency through regular reporting on performance, assessed from the perspective of longer-term strategy maps."

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Pacific Currents

Digital Technologies, Services and the Fourth Industrial Revolutions
Submitted by Jane Drake-Brockman, Christopher Findlay, Yose Rizal Damuri and Sherry Stephenson 


COVID-19 has Exposed Major Gaps in our Social Safety Nets: In a Post-COVID World Will these Gaps be Closed?
Hugh Stephens
Vice Chair, CANCPEC; Distinguished Fellow, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada; Executive Fellow, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary


COVID-19: Experiences from best practices in Asia show a path forward in the fight against the coronavirus
Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


Wuhan Dispatch: Part 2: Sharing Best Practices Around Testing and Treatment
Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


Wuhan Dispatch: Part 1: Establishing a Dialogue Between Canadian and Chinese Health-care Professionals
Jeffrey Reeves
Vice-President of Research for the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


Multilateral Cooperation is a Safeguard against Pandemics
Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria
Executive Director, APEC Secretariat


International cooperation during COVID-19
Sungbae An
Senior Research Fellow, Department of International Macroeconomics and Finance, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)


G20 comes to the fore again
Jorge Heine
Research Professor, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University; Non-resident senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing


Tackling COVID-19 Together: A Bottom-Up Approach to Trade Policy
Simon J. Evenett
Economics Professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and Global Trade Alert


Drastic measures to stop spread of COVID-19 are necessary
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Adjunct Fellow and Former President of the East-West Center; Former Co-Chair, PECC


International Trade at a Time of Covid-19
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Expert on tariffs and customs issues at the WTO; occasional lecturer


ASEAN-China cooperation in time of COVID-19 pandemic
Jusuf Wanandi
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, CSIS Foundation; Former Co-Chair of PECC