Chen Sheng Ho
An important theme of 2013 APEC is attaining the Bogor Goals. There exists the need to understand the meaning of the Bogor Goals that was developed in 1994. The purpose of this article is to restructure the Bogor Goals. The article will review some reports about the Bogor Goals as well as will analyze the Bogor Declaration. Finally, a suggestion for revising the Bogor Goals will be given.
An important report that APEC has generated to examine the progress towards the Bogor Goals is: "The Report on APEC's 2010 Economies' Progress Towards the Bogor Goals." According to the Report, the assessment focuses on 13 APEC industrialized and developing economies. There are five industrialized economies consisting of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. The eight developing economies that volunteered to be included in the assessment are Chile; Hong Kong, China; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; Peru; Singapore and Chinese Taipei.
The assessment states that the 13 economies have made progress toward achieving free and open trade and investment but their work is not finished. In addition, the report mentions that APEC must continue to be ready to address new challenges, since the international economy is evolving and incorporating new technologies and new ways of conducting business (APEC 2010).
The APEC PSU published a report in 2012 called: "APEC's Bogor Goals Progress Report." The main points of the Report are that APEC members have continued to make progress, since the 2010 assessment. However, there is room for APEC to make further advancement. In the period of 2008-2010, APEC average tariff rate decreased from 6.6% to 5.8%. The report states that trade facilitation, services and investment have become major areas that APEC can focus on (APEC PSU 2012).
Another significant report on the Bogor Goals is: "Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Attaining the Bogor Goals; then towards a Seamless Regional Economy." The Report states that APEC has made substantial progress towards free and open trade and investment. APEC can now define Bogor Goals that are ambitious as well as attainable by 2020. There is an opportunity for APEC to show that the Asia-Pacific region is the most open region through the Bogor Goals. It is suggested that APEC could ensure that almost 100% of the value of trade in goods faces no tariffs or quantitative restrictions in the APEC region. In addition, APEC could support free trade in services. The Report also suggests that the development of an attainable form of the Bogor Goals could be complemented with the long-term objective of a seamless regional economy. The result is the creation of transport and communications networks in the APEC region. International commerce will then become cheaper, easier and faster (Elek 2012).
Analyzing the Bogor Goals
After reviewing the reports on the Bogor Goals, it can be said that the Bogor Goals remain the most important goals for APEC to achieve. An important feature of the Bogor Goals is the existence of deadlines for achieving the Bogor Goals, 2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing economies. Since developed economies have more work to do following the 2010 assessment, the current final deadline is now 2020 for all APEC members. The 2020 deadline is clear and without controversy. However, the meaning of the Bogor Goals is not as apparent. There is room for APEC to define the Bogor Goals in a clearer manner.
The Bogor Goals are about the achievement of free and open trade and investment. An important question is: What is the degree of free and open trade and investment acceptable to APEC? For example, free trade can mean zero tariffs. Free trade can also be defined as freer trade. With a clearer meaning, it will be easier for APEC to state that the Bogor Goals have been achieved when the deadline of 2020 arrives. Essentially, the Bogor Goals will then not be a moving target, as is the case at the moment.
For the purpose of clarifying the meaning of the Bogor Goals, the most significant step to be taken is to examine the 1994 APEC Leaders' Declaration, which is also known as the Bogor Declaration. APEC Leaders state in the Declaration that they are meeting together for the purpose of setting the future path of APEC's cooperation. The outcome is the advancement of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region as well as throughout the world. The strengthening of economic cooperation will be based on equal partnership, shared responsibility, mutual respect, common interest, and common benefit. Furthermore, APEC will take the lead to enhance the multilateral trading system, trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region, and Asia-Pacific development cooperation. Since the open multilateral trading system is the foundation of APEC's economic growth, APEC will seek to take the lead in advancing the multilateral trading system (APEC 1994).
In order to enhance trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC Leaders agree to accept the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment. The goal will be reached through the reduction of barriers to trade and investment. Additionally, the promotion of free flow of goods, services and capital among APEC economies will also be pursued. This goal will be achieved in a manner that is consistent with GATT, so that APEC's actions will lead to more liberalization at the multilateral level (APEC 1994).
APEC Leaders agree that APEC should achieve the goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by the year 2020. Since APEC economies have different levels of economic development, the industrialized economies will achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 and developing economies will do so by the year 2020 (APEC 1994).
In addition, APEC Leaders emphasize that they strongly oppose the creation of a trading bloc that is inward-looking and that prevents the pursuit of global free trade. APEC will support free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region in a way that strengthen global trade and investment liberalization. Therefore, the result of trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region will lead to the lowering of barriers in APEC and also between APEC economies and non-APEC economies. APEC will pay attention to its trade with non-APEC developing economies to make sure that they will also gain benefit from APEC's trade and investment liberalization. APEC's efforts in trade and investment liberalization will conform to GATT/ WTO rules (APEC 1994).
Revising the Meaning of Bogor Goals
The APEC Leaders had made the right decision in 1994 to announce the birth of the Bogor Goals. The reason is that it has brought significance to the existence of APEC. As a result, APEC's work has focused on attaining the Bogor Goals. The APEC way of formulating and implementing actions through consensus building and voluntarism have been criticized for being ineffective in supporting the achievement of the Bogor Goals. However, APEC has been able to exist because the APEC way leads to harmonious outcomes. For APEC members, APEC complements the trade liberalization work being undertaken in the WTO. With the approaching 2020 deadline for reaching the Bogor Goals, APEC may want to clarify the Bogor Goals. In particular, Bogor Goals can be revised to mean the attainment of freer and more open trade and investment. The emphasis is on progress by every APEC member as well as by APEC collectively.
Thus an updated definition of the Bogor Goals will be to revise the ideas stated in the 1994 Bogor Declaration (APEC 1994) to become the following main points: • Achieve freer and more open trade and investment by 2020 for all APEC economies. • Advance the WTO's multilateral trading system. • Oppose the creation of a close trading bloc that does not promote global free trade. • Ensure that the promotion of trade and investment liberalization in APEC will not only reduce barriers in the APEC region but will also lower barriers between APEC and non-APEC economies.
1. APEC. 1994. "1994 Leaders' Declaration." APEC Secretariat. <http://www.apec. org/Meeting-Papers/Leaders-Declarations/1994/1994_aelm.aspx>
2. APEC. 2010. "The Report on APEC's 2010 Economies' Progress Towards the Bogor Goals." APEC Secretariat. <http://www.apec.org/About-Us/About-APEC/ Achievements-and-Benefits/~/media/Files/AboutUs/AchievementsBenefits/2010/ bogor_Report_AMM20101110.ashx>
3. APEC PSU. 2012. "APEC's Bogor Goals Progress Report." APEC Secretariat. <http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1308>
4. Elek, Andrew. 2012. "Asia Pacific Economic Integration – Attaining the Bogor Goals; Then Towards a Seamless Regional Economy." APEC Secretariat. <http:// mddb.apec.org/Documents/2012/SOM/ISOM-SYM/12_isom_sym_003.pdf>