25th APEC Indonesia Summit 2013

Again after 20 years, Indonesia got a chance to hold the 25th APEC Summit in the Beautiful Bali-The Islands of God on 5th-7th October 2013. All 21 member economies participated, except US President Barack Obama. He couldn't attend the Summit as well as his pre-planned Asia Tour due to ongoing US Federal Government Shutdown so he sent Secretary of State John Kerry.

Apart from member countries, this summit was attended by Director General of the WTO, Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Secretary General of ASEAN, co-chairs of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), representative of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and representative of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).

This year Summit's theme was “Resilience and Growth: Reshaping Priorities for Global Economy” addressing important global business priorities and seeking how to achieve inclusive sustainable growth for all APEC economies. At the Summit, business leaders have the opportunity to share their views and search for solutions to issues affecting trade and investment with APEC Leaders.

Highlights

  • The organizers of the Summit aimed to reinforce Indonesia's leadership as an economic power and APEC's role as a forum for regional cooperation and private sector input. Establishing media partnerships with leading global media brands was a potential key driver of visibility and participant engagement.
  • Canadian PM promised to invest $36-billion in Malaysia's State-owned Oil and Gas Company. Malaysia's state-owned Oil and Gas Company Petronas has committed to construction of a liquid natural gas plant in British Columbia and the pipeline to feed it and spent more than $5 billion to purchase Alberta-based Progress Energy Inc. Last year.
  • This Summit was supposed to be crucial for all 12 member nations who were involved in the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership which was a proposed free trade agreement that could link the nations into a huge trading bloc, but the detailing and finalization was postponed due to absence of Mr. Obama.
  • Amidst the ongoing uncertainty in the global economy, business leaders of the Asia-Pacific region urged APEC economies to stay the course in deepening regional economic integration as the means to promote resilience and sustained economic growth and recovery in the region even while adapting to new business realities.
  • Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan commented over this free trade agreement that there were grounds to think that people believe more in the existence of UFOs than the benefits of free trade. This comment was nothing but truth about current world economy. On one hand so many nations (In Summary Global Economy) were going through an uneven recovery whether it was superpower USA or small Ukraine, none of them were stable condition. And on other hand those same people were involved in the talks about free trade.
  • In the absence of US President Obama, its biggest competitor China took the center stage. President Xi Jinping assured business and political leaders there that China was ready to lead the way to a brighter day as part of “the world's most dynamic and most promising region” He already toured South-east Asia before arriving in Bali, where he flaunted the benefits of free trade pacts after securing commercial deals in Indonesia and Malaysia.
  • In this meeting there were some colours as it was Russian President Vladimir Putin's Birthday and he turned 61. After day long meetings, he celebrated his birthday with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Japanese PM Shinzo and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Commitments

The commitments were made under Indonesia's Three Priority Areas.

  • Advancing the Bogor goals of free and open trade and investment: Reduce tariffs to 5% or less by 2015 and establish a public-private partnership to tackle non-tariff barriers to promote trade and investment in environmental goods and services.
  • Implementation of good regulatory practices, including through the use of additional tools, such as single location for regulatory information, regulatory planning, and periodic regulatory reviews.
  • Prevent new forms of protectionism and eliminate localization barriers to trade by establishing a trade-enhancing model.
  • Improving physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity: Establishing an APEC sub-fund mechanism to achieve goal of 10% improvement in supply chain performance.
  • Pursuing economic growth that is both sustainable and equitable.