APEC LEADERS FORGE AGREEMENT TOWARD 'SEAMLESS REGIONAL ECONOMY'

[PHOTO COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG Online - A policeman, right, patrols on a bicycle in the Waikiki beach area past a banner highlighting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu, Hawaii.]

HONOLULU, NOVEMBER 16, 2011 (INQUIRER) By Norman Bordadora Philippine Daily Inquirer —Leaders of member-economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference have agreed to strengthen regional economic integration, promote a global low-carbon economy and eliminate burdensome and outdated regulations in doing business to achieve a seamless regional economy.

The leaders, including President Aquino and host US President Barrack Obama, reached the agreement following the 19th Apec Leaders’ Meeting over the weekend here.

The summit came amid uncertainty, weakened growth and job creation in the global economy.

“We come together in Apec to pursue these goals, recognizing that trade and investment are critical to job creation and greater economic prosperity for all our economies,” the leaders said in what is now called the Honolulu declaration “towards a seamless regional economy.”

“We further recognize that strengthening regional economic integration also plays a key role in promoting regional peace and stability,” the statement read.

The leaders committed to advance a set of policies to promote effective, non-discriminatory and market-driven innovation policy to set a model for innovation in the region as the best way to come up with changes that will increase productivity and ensure economic growth.

“We also decided on areas of cooperation that could be included in our trade agreements to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in global production chains,” the statement said.

In promoting “green growth objectives,” the leaders agreed that economies will work in 2012 to develop an Apec list of environmental goods that contribute to our green growth and sustainable development objectives.

The leaders resolved to reduce by the end of 2015 their economies’ applied tariff rates on such goods to five percent or less “taking into account economies economic circumstances, without prejudice to Apec economies positions in the WTO.”

“Economies will also eliminate non-tariff barriers, including local content requirements that will distort environmental goods and services trade,” the statement read.

The leaders also agreed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, “while recognizing the importance of providing those in need with essential energy services.”

They also agreed to reduce Apec’s aggregate energy intensity by 45 percent in 2035; promote energy efficiency by taking steps in support of energy-smart, low-carbon communities; incorporate low-emissions development strategies into the economic growth plans; and work to implement appropriate measures to prohibit trade in illegally harvested forest products.

In the field of regulatory convergence, the leaders agreed to take specific steps by 2013 to implement good regulatory practices in our economies, including ensuring internal coordination of regulatory work, assessing regulatory impacts, and conducting public consultation.

The leaders agreed to pursue common objectives to prevent technical barriers to trade related to green technologies; strengthen food safety systems and facilitate trade, including support for a Global Food Safety Fund; and ensure implementation of the Apec ant-corruption and open government commitments by 2014 through deeper cooperation in Apec.

The Apec also committed to take concrete steps to expand economic opportunities for women in Apec economies.

The leaders also agreed to enhance the role of the private sector in Apec, “through greater input into Apec’s working groups and the establishment of new public-private policy partnerships.”

The Apec also expressed solidarity with the people affected by tragic natural disasters and pledged to incorporate the private sector and civil society more substantively into our emergency preparedness efforts “as a critical piece of our efforts to build more resilient communities and businesses.

“Recognizing the range of experiences and systems across Apec economies, we reaffirm the importance of supporting our ambitious vision for a seamless regional economy through our abiding commitment to delivering effective economic and technical cooperation,” the leaders said.

[PHOTO - HONOLULU, HI - NOVEMBER 13: (From L-R, first row) Indonesian President Susilo Bambang, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, (from L-R, second row) Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Peru President Ollanta Humala, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Bill English wave during the APEC family photo session at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Summit on November 13, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The United States hosted this year's APEC summit, with leaders from the 21 member economies convening on the island of Oahu. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

FROM WORLD NEWS REPORT

APEC 2011 CEO Summit Features World's Top Government and Business Leaders

Critical Time for Government and Private Sector to Engage on Issues Facing the Fastest Growing Region in the World; The APEC 2011 USA Host Committee released the current list of expected speakers and panelists and select attendees at the APEC 2011 CEO Summit, taking place November 10-12 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The conference will host 1,500 expected attendees with over 100 high-profile participants including 11 government leaders, 62 private sector Chairmen and CEOs and many other influential leaders from the Asia-Pacific region.

"The roster of participants at this year's APEC CEO Summit really exemplifies how the Summit is unlike any other event in the world, allowing senior business executives to engage with world leaders to have an immediate impact on economic policy decisions," said Monica Whaley, President, APEC 2011 USA Host Committee Organization. "These discussions move markets. The APEC CEO Summit is essentially the board meeting of the Asia-Pacific."

The APEC CEO Summit will take place in conjunction with APEC USA 2011 Leaders Week.

Government leaders from the 21 APEC economies expected to participate in the summit include President Barack Obama of the United States, President Hu Jintao of China, President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, President Sebastián Piñera of Chile, Chief Executive Donald Tsang of Hong Kong SAR, President Benigno Aquino of The Philippines, and President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam.

The multi-day Summit will feature a variety of special sessions looking at trade and economic policy perspectives on the future of this critically-important region. Built around the conference theme: "The Future: Redefined.," delegates will gain significant insights into important trends and issues across the Asia-Pacific region including innovation, healthcare, energy, food security, and women and the economy and trade.

Among the speakers and business community leaders from the Asia-Pacific confirmed to date:

Richard C. Adkerson - President and CEO, Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (USA) Shai Agassi - Founder and CEO, Better Place (USA) Gautam Banerjee - Executive Chairman, PwC (Singapore) Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove - President and CEO, The Cleveland Clinic (USA) Roger A. Crook - CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, Freight (Germany) Michael L. Ducker - COO, EVP and President, International, FedEx Express (USA) Ning Gaoning - Chairman, COFCO Limited (China) Deborah A. Henretta - ABAC Chair and Group President, Asia, Procter & Gamble (USA) William V. Hickey - President and CEO, Sealed Air Corporation (USA) Eduardo Hochschild - Executive Chairman, Hochschild Mining (Peru) Tom Jenkins - Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Open Text Corporation (Canada) Andrey L. Kostin - Chairman and President, JSC VTB Bank (Russia) Bon-Joon Koo - Vice Chairman & CEO, LG Electronics (South Korea) John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D - Chairman, President and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company (USA) Richard Li - Chairman and Chief Executive, Pacific Century Group Limited (Hong Kong) Dr. Zhang Liju, Chairman - VODone Group Limited (China) W. James McNerney, Jr. - Chairman, President and CEO, The Boeing Company (USA) Alexey Miller - Chairman of the Management Committee, Gazprom (Russia) Luis Alberto Moreno - President, Inter-American Development Bank Craig Mundie - Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation (USA) Dennis M. Nally - Chairman, PwC International (USA) Douglas R. Oberhelman - Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc. (USA) Scott Price - President and CEO, Walmart Asia (USA) John G. Rice - Vice Chairman, General Electric (USA) Jin Roy Ryu - Chairman and CEO, Poongsan Corporation (South Korea) Cher Wang - Chairperson and Co-founder, HTC Corp. (Chinese Taipei) William C. Weldon - Chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson (USA) Keith E. Williams - President, CEO and Trustee, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (USA) Hiromasa Yonekura - Chairman, Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.; Chairman, Keidanren (Japan) For more information, visit www.APEC2011ceosummit.com.

Also follow updates on the APEC 2011 CEO Summit in real-time on Facebook and via @APEC2011USA on Twitter.

FROM YAHOO! NEWS

Security shrouds paradise Hawaii for APEC summit AFP – Sat, Nov 12, 2011

[PHOTO - Fences and floodlights are set up along a stretch of Waikiki Beach as part of security]

Hawaii's tourist playground of Waikiki Beach braced Saturday for an unlikely invasion as security kicked in for a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders hosted by President Barack Obama.

Secret Service, police and army personnel swarmed over the white sand beaches of Obama's birthplace of Honolulu as authorities locked down a roughly one-kilometer stretch of Waikiki and its offshore waters.

Beaches normally filled with bikini-clad tourists were instead shut off by concrete barriers and iron fencing as a pair of Coast Guard cutters cruised offshore. Police patrolled on jet-skis and smaller boats.

An orange boom cut across a bay fronting key hotels housing leaders including Hawaii's most famous son Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

"It's insane. It feels like Communist China," said Marvin Schuster, 39, a tourist from the US state of Pennsylvania who has shelved plans to leave his hotel this weekend due to difficulties getting around.

"It sort of ruins the vacation when you are forced to just stay in the room and watch TV."

[PHOTO - Protesters march on Waikiki beach with banners during the APEC summit in Honolulu, Hawaii November 12, 2011. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS CIVIL UNREST)]

Security was also ultra-tight behind the beaches, with some of the city's busiest streets empty due to road closures on routes leading into Waikiki's forest of resort hotels as federal agents and police barked at any cars or pedestrians that went astray.

President Obama chose the city of his birth for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which annually brings together leaders of its 21 members including Obama's Chinese and Russian counterparts.

Hawaii officials have embraced the summit as a chance to showcase the islands' famed hospitality, but it has brought the heaviest security since the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 70 years ago.

"This is totally not what Hawaii is about," local resident Tino Fornas said, gesturing at a roadblock manned by grim-faced police.

"Yeah, welcome to Hawaii. Now please leave," he said of the assembled Pacific Rim leaders.

The tight security in Honolulu was to persist through late Saturday local time, after which the summit was to shift to another location on Hawaii's main Oahu island.

Local grumbling over traffic snarls caused by road closures has been exacerbated by the killing of a Hawaii man who was shot by a US State Department security agent in a late-night altercation last weekend.

Reports indicated both men were inebriated. The agent has been charged with murder.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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