Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

November 12, 2014
Japanese

  • Commemorative photo
 The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held in Beijing, China on November 10 and 11, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe representing Japan. Under the chair of H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and on the theme of “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership,” the leaders looked back on the 25 years of APEC strides thus far, while discussing “Advancing Regional Economic Integration,” “Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development,” and “Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth” as challenges that should be tackled going forward.
 As outcomes of the meeting, “The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration - Beijing Agenda for an Integrated, Innovative and Interconnected Asia-Pacific” and the “Statement on the 25th Anniversary of APEC - Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership” were issued.

Schedule of the Leaders’ Meeting

November 10AfternoonDialogue between APEC leaders and ABAC
November 11MorningLeaders’ Meeting: First retreat session: “Advancing Regional Economic Integration”
 LunchLeaders’ Working Lunch: “Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development,” “APEC’s achievements and prospect on the occasion of its 25th anniversary”
 AfternoonLeaders’ Meeting: Second retreat session: “Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth”

1. Outline of the Leaders’ Meeting

(1) First retreat session: “Advancing Regional Economic Integration”

  • (i) Discussions took place on supporting multilateral trading system, resisting protectionism, realizing the Free Trade Area of the Asia- Pacific (FTAAP), and advancing Global Value Chains. Many economies expressed strong support the multilateral trading system and strong concerns about the impasse surrounding the WTO’s negotiating function, and many leaders shared the view that solid efforts should be made to break the impasse.
  • (ii) The overview of the points made by Prime Minister Abe is as follows:
    • (a) The negotiating function at the WTO is in a crisis situation, and there is a need to consider responses for restoring the credibility of the WTO, including new ways of overcoming the situation. Resolute determination to resist protectionism should be shown at the leaders’ level. Japan urges further liberalization efforts by APEC economies in order to promptly conclude negotiations on expanding the product coverage of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which the industrial community holds significant expectations toward.
    • (b) Japan supports the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP, and it is actively promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other initiatives toward eventual realization of the FTAAP. At the same time Japan wants to accelerate discussions on the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment that concern manufacturing related services, as a way of addressing “next generation trade and investment issue.”
    • (c) In order to create more efficient Global Value Chains, Japan will contribute to and lead discussions on two work streams: “Improve the investment climate for GVCs Development” and “Enhance resiliency of GVCs.”

(2) Working lunch: “Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development” and “APEC’s achievements and prospect on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.”

  • (i) Many leaders welcomed the “APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025,” which was formulated based on an agreement at the Bali APEC last year, along with the expectation for its implementation. The leaders appreciated the achievements of APEC, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary since its foundation, and expressed expectation toward a greater role for APEC.
  • (ii) The overview of the points made by Prime Minister Abe is as follows:
    • (a) Responding appropriately to the massive demand for infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region is a significant challenge, and Japan will promote Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives in the region more actively. In order to achieve high-quality growth and sustainable development, “the quality of infrastructure,” including lifecycle costs need to be taken into account. Furthermore, it is also important to ensure “high quality standards,” including environmental and social considerations and transparency, and to promote local employment and capacity-building through such development.
    • (b) Since its launch in 1989, APEC has been promoting the creation of international rules that set a global example, which is praiseworthy. Japan will continue to perform a leading role in APEC, in partnership with other members.
    • (c) The Ebola virus disease is a threat to international peace and stability, and in addition to the 40 million U.S. dollars of aid already announced, Japan will expand its aid by up to a further 100 million U.S. dollars and will continue to actively contribute toward the end of the epidemic.

(3) Second retreat session: “Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth”

  • (i) Discussions took place on promoting economic reform, innovation, energy, women, anti-corruption measures, and global issues including terrorism and climate change, with a view to enhancing growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • (ii) The overview of the points made by Prime Minister Abe is as follows:
    • (a) Japan intends to contribute to further regional economic growth via revitalization of the Japanese economy through bold implementation of the regulatory reforms of Abenomics.
    • (b) One key is to achieve a good balance between economic development and measures against climate change by developing the LNG market and making thermal power generation, a core power source, as highly-efficient and low-carbon as possible. Japan will contribute to improving global energy with the world’s most advanced clean energy technologies.
    • (c) Japan held the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo: WAW! Tokyo 2014 in September. In order also to make the most of the region’s potential, Japan will actively engage in promoting women’s participation in APEC, including by sharing the best practices of approximately 50 Leading companies for Women in APEC economies.

2. Dialogue with ABAC

 A dialogue was held between the APEC leaders and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) members from each economy. In response to a question from ABAC members, Prime Minister Abe explained the “Growth Strategy” of Abenomics, and explained Japan’s view on principles we should respect such as “quality of infrastructure” when we develop infrastructure.

3. Evaluation of the meeting

  • (1) As a result of Japan taking the initiative and leading the discussions on multilateral trading system, which forms the basis for free trade, seriousness of the problems associated with implementing the Bali Agreement, which are the cause of the impasse in the WTO’s negotiating function, was shared at a leaders’ level. It was also significant that a great deal of support was expressed for the prompt conclusion of the negotiations on expanding the ITA.
  • (2) Regarding regional economic integration, based on the outcomes of the 18th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Yokohama, the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP was formulated and a collective strategic study on issues related to the realization of the FTAAP was agreed to launch (to be reported on by the end of 2016). It is appreciable that this has given farther rise to the possibility that a larger market will be created with the realization of the FTAAP ahead of the TPP that is currently being negotiated.
  • (3) Following the leaders’ agreement last year, the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025, which stipulates concrete actions for enhancing Physical Connectivity, Institutional Connectivity and People-to-People Connectivity in the region by 2025, was adopted. At the meeting, it was confirmed that connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region is the foundation for regional economic integration and sustainable growth, and Japan expressed its intention to promote infrastructure development investment in the region.
  • (4) Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to contribute to further regional economic growth via revitalization of the Japanese economy through bold implementation of the regulatory reforms of Abenomics, and he advocated the importance of promoting further participation by women in order to make the most of the region’s potential.