Dr. Alan Bollard, Executive Director, the APEC Secretariat, Singapore and Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council
Venue : Coca-Cola Singapore, 1 HarbourFront Ave #04-04 Keppel Bay Tower Singapore 098632 (Singapore Videoconference Room One & Two)
Date : December 08, 2017
Time : 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
Price : $25.00
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There was no shortage of news from Da Nang at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week. The focus was less on the colorful costumes this year, and more on the TPP-11 sideshow: the rebirth of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), including vocabulary such as “reciprocal” and “fair trade” inserted by the U.S. in Leaders’ statements, and the virtues of globalization heralded by Xi Jinping at the same time U.S. President Donald Trump shied away from it.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies account for half of global trade and 60 percent of world GDP. The 21 APEC Leaders met in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on November 11, 2017, and included Presidents Trump and Xi. Since taking office, Trump has made it clear that he is walking away from multilateral deals for bilateral ones. On his first major Asian tour, Trump reiterated that he would always put America first, the same way that other leaders are expected to put their own economies first. Xi in contrast, stated that globalization was “irreversible” and that free trade needed to be “more open, more balanced, more equitable and more beneficial to all,” defending the importance of multilateral trade. On this tour, Trump referred to strengthening the “Indo-Pacific alliance,” which Japan welcomed but China did not. Korea decided to remain neutral.
With skepticism toward globalization manifesting in different parts of the world, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC)’s annual survey of the regional policy community showed rising protectionism as the top risk to growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The survey also covered questions about the future of TPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). On the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Da Nang, TPP-11 ministers finally announced that they were moving ahead without the U.S., although under a different name: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). After sustaining a series of setbacks in Da Nang, TPP is kept alive with 20 of its provisions now suspended resulting from the U.S. withdrawal. Although the 11 partners have now agreed on the “core elements,” its future remains uncertain.
Some of the key priorities addressed at the meetings included: keeping up the regional economic integration efforts in spite of the U.S. pulling out of the TPP, boosting opportunities for MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises), improving connectivity, enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture, and maximizing opportunities offered by the digital economy.
Co-organized by AmCham Singapore and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, the lunch briefing will be an opportunity to also discuss: the key achievements from APEC 2017 Vietnam, what to expect in 2018 when Papua New Guinea hosts APEC, the main ongoing work areas of APEC and what role it plays in the larger scheme of international cooperation and sustainable development.
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Special thanks to Coca-Cola Singapore for their kind support as venue partner.
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