Sun, Sep 29, 2013 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

“Chinese Taipei,” as Taiwan is called in APEC, can play a major role in APEC. Taiwan’s APEC lead representative, former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), served in the same capacity in 1994, when the Bogor goals were created. Only one other 1994 APEC economy representative will also attend this year’s meeting, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam.

Siew could call on APEC leaders to clarify the meaning of free trade, the main point found in the Bogor goals. The achievement of free trade could mean zero tariffs or other levels in quantitative terms. However, it is suggested that the Bogor goals are defined to mean the promotion of freer trade. This means that APEC will have achieved the Bogor goals when every APEC member has made progress through individual actions, as well as through collective actions.

Furthermore, the spirit of free trade embodied in the Bogor goals entails that APEC members should also ensure that regional undertakings, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, are open to membership from APEC members. Ultimately, when 2020 arrives, APEC could state that the trade and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region has become freer and the Bogor goals have been achieved.

Ho Chen-sheng

Taipei

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