The year 2010 can justly be viewed as a watershed year for trade policy in the Asia-Pacific region. The global financial crisis and its aftermath have changed the environment for trade policy. It is also the year when industrialized APEC economies will be assessed on their progress on the Bogor Goals.

As last year's PECC task force on sustainable responses to the crisis made clear, the export-led model of East Asian growth faces inevitable adjustment in the light of diminished capacity of the US consumer market to absorb East Asian exports.

Other trade policy issues the region is grappling with includes:

Challenges to trade policy arising from policy responses to climate change and from emerging trends in international food markets are coming sharply into focus. 

On the regional integration front, important new initiatives have introduced additional dimensions to deliberations about the future of the region's trade and economic architecture.

Hopes are high that 2010 will be the year when resolution of key domestic policy issues frees the US Administration to pursue an active trade policy agenda. This could signal a fresh round of efforts to bring the WTO's Doha Round to a successful conclusion.

For APEC economies the year has special significance as the date of the first milestone set out in the Bogor goals.  It is natural as this milestone is reached to consider the next steps for APEC’s trade and investment agenda.  

 From left: ADB Institute Dean Dr Masahiro Kawai, Indonesia's Vice Minister of Trade, Mr Mahendra Siregar; 
and PECC task force coordinator, Dr Robert Scollay

Experts from the region gathered in Tokyo on 6-7 July to discuss a "Post 2010 Trade Agenda for the Asia-Pacific". The conference co-organized by PECC, the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Inter-American Development Bank forms part of the work of the PECC task force on trade.


Photo: Participants at the PECC international seminar, "Toward Energy-Autonomous Public Utilities Infrastructure: The Water Energy Nexus" (8-10 December 2009, Auckland, New Zealand) co-organized by the PECC member committees of the French Pacific Territories and New Zealand.

Water management is directly linked to the major global challenges such as the climate change, food shortages, as well as the economic crisis. Water conservation and improved energy efficiency must go hand-in-hand and the reasons are no longer only ethical but increasingly becoming more economic.

The international seminar on water management held in the premises of Auckland University gathered water experts from the reserach, business, and policy sectors to review the challenges and recommend possible modalities in tackling the many socio-economic and environmental issues concerning water consumption and management. The experts agreed that joint planning of water and energy by the authorities and operators at the local and regional levels were important and that knowledge-sharing among the different stakeholders be enhanced. 

For the full program agenda and the presentation materials, please refer to:




Left to right: Mr Eduardo Pedrosa, PECC Secretary General, PECC co-chairs, Dr Charles E. Morrison and Mr Jusuf Wanandi, and
SOTR coordinator Mr Yuen Pau Woo at the media release of the State of the Region 2009-2010 report
11 November 2009 (Singapore) - APEC leaders meeting in Singapore later this week have been sent a clear message from Asia Pacific opinion-leaders: It is too soon to exit from the expansionary policies that were put in place over the last year in response to the global economic crisis. “Continued action on the economic crisis” was at the top of a list of suggested priorities for APEC, followed by “regulation of the financial sector”, “restarting the Doha process”, “climate change and the Copenhagen Deal”, and “reducing the cost of doing business”.
“There has been a marked rise in optimism about the economic outlook, but opinion-leaders believe it is too soon for governments to withdraw the stimulus measures of the past year,” said Yuen Pau Woo, coordinator of the report and President of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
Looking beyond the crisis, opinion-leaders identified a number of key policies for sustainable growth in the Asia Pacific region. These included, in order of importance: 1) strengthening financial regulations around the globe; 2) rebalancing the Chinese and US economies; and 3) increasing final goods trade among Asian economies. According to respondents, the growth engines of the next five years are "expenditures on social priorities", "liberalization of the services sector", and "measures to promote a green economy".
The survey of nearly 400 opinion-leaders from business, government, think tanks, and civil society was conducted by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) in October, and is part of PECC's annual State of the Region report. Read more (press release)...


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