APEC blue­print de­signed to lower bar­ri­ers to trade

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By PU ZHEN­DONG puzhen­dong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Mem­ber economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co­op­er­a­tion are work­ing on a blue­print that seeks to boost re­gional in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity and other trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion mea­sures, a top Chi­nese of­fi­cial who par­tic­i­pated in the meet­ings said on Thurs­day.

“The blue­print aims at im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture such as roads, rail­ways and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion to strengthen con­nec­tions of mem­ber economies on a ‘phys­i­cal’ level,” said Tan Jian, China’s se­nior of­fi­cial for APEC

“The or­ga­ni­za­tion will work to ad­just reg­u­la­tions to re­duce bar­ri­ers at an in­sti­tu­tional level. Among the mea­sures we dis­cussed was the fea­si­bil­ity of a Sin­gle Win­dow Cus­toms clear­ance sys­tem among the mem­ber economies,” Tan said .

He said APEC will also take mea­sures to fa­cil­i­tate per­son­nel mo­bil­ity within the re­gion, such as sim­pli­fy­ing visa ap­pli­ca­tions and en­try and exit pro­ce­dures.

“We al­ready have the APEC Busi­ness Travel Card, which guar­an­tees visa-free travel for the busi­ness com­mu­nity among par­tic­i­pat­ing APEC economies,” Tan said.

The two-day Se­nior Of­fi­cials’ Meet­ing, which con­cluded in Bei­jing on Thurs­day, was part of the prepa­ra­tions for the 2014 APEC Economic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing, which is slated to be held Nov 10-11 at Yanqi Lake, a resort town 50 km from down­town Bei­jing, with the theme of “Shap­ing the Future through Asi­aPa­cific Part­ner­ship”.

Zhang Mo­nan, a deputy re­searcher with the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Economic Ex­changes, said Asian coun­tries have re­al­ized that ad­vanc­ing con­nec­tiv­ity with re­gional part­ners in ev­ery as­pect is cru­cial for bet­ter economic in­te­gra­tion within the re­gion and also to fuel the next phase of growth.

“A large chan­nel, in which com­modi­ties, cap­i­tal, trans­porta­tion,

We al­ready have the APEC Busi­ness Travel Card, which guar­an­tees visa-free travel for the busi­ness com­mu­nity among par­tic­i­pat­ing APEC economies.” TAN JIAN CHINA’S SE­NIOR OF­FI­CIAL FOR APEC

lo­gis­tics and in­for­ma­tion flow freely between China and other APEC economies, will be es­tab­lished,” Zhang said.

Xiong Ai­zong, a re­searcher with the In­sti­tute of World Eco­nom­ics and Pol­i­tics at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said: “Many coun­tries in the Asia-Pacific re­gion will ben­e­fit from the en­hanced con­nec­tiv­ity. APEC of­fers an op­por­tu­nity for mul­ti­ple sides to com­mu­ni­cate.”

Last year, at the end of the 21st APEC Economic Lead­ers’ Meet­ing in Bali, In­done­sia, lead­ers of the Asia-Pacific economies agreed to “shape the strate­gic land­scape of the re­gion through a long-term com­mit­ment” that will ac­cel­er­ate phys­i­cal, in­sti­tu­tional and­peo­ple-to-peo­ple­con­nec­tiv­ity.

Apart from the dis­cus­sions on con­nec­tiv­ity, Tan said the meet­ings also yielded im­por­tant con­sen­sus on two other top­ics for this year’s APEC, which are ad­vanc­ing re­gional economic in­te­gra­tion and pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tive devel­op­ment, economic re­form and growth.

“We are com­mit­ted to build­ing, ex­pand­ing and deep­en­ing as much con­sen­sus as pos­si­ble be­fore the lead­ers’ meet­ings in Novem­ber,” Tan said.

“Many mem­ber economies have very high ex­pec­ta­tions of China as a host with the back­drop of un­cer­tain global economic re­cov­ery and China’s on­go­ing re­forms,” he said.

FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

Tan Jian, China’s se­nior of­fi­cial for APEC

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