For 2014, the CTI will continue to advance the CTI-related action as directed by Ministers and Leaders in Bali; as well as those actions outlined in its 2013 Annual report to Ministers. Thus far, the CTI has met twice. The first meeting was in Ningbo from 24-25 February 2014 where it adopted a work program organized around five priority areas under the APEC 2014 theme “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership.” These priorities include: (i) Support for the multilateral trading system/WTO; (ii) Advancing regional economic integration; (iii) Strengthening connectivity and infrastructure development; (iv) Expanding regulatory cooperation and advancing regulatory coherence; and (v) Contributions to APEC growth strategy and cross-cutting mandates. The second meeting took place in Qingdao where the Committee discussed and advanced its work program for the year.
Highlights of CTI’s work in 2014 include:
Support for the Multilateral Trading System
CTI continues to explore new proposals and review any work undertaken by the Committee and its sub-fora to support the World Trade Organization (WTO), including in response to outcomes of the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali in December 2013. CTI members discussed a proposal on “APEC Support implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement” which called on APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade to announce at their meeting in Qingdao any plans their economies may have regarding notifying Category A commitments or completing domestic ratifications of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Advancing Regional Economic Integration/Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)
A new CTI Friends of the Chair (FoTC) was established to progress work on strengthening Regional Economic Integration (REI) and Advancing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). The FoTC adopted a work plan to guide this work. This work plan included proposals to enhance transparency on regional trade agreements (RTAs)/free trade agreements (FTAs) in the region, strengthen capacity building activities, formulate a roadmap for APEC’s contribution to the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific; and enhance the analytical work on realizing this free trade area.
CTI agreed on a proposal for an APEC Information Sharing Mechanism for regional trade agreements (RTAs)/free trade agreements (FTAs) comprising elements relating to (i) Enhancing access of information on RTAs/FTAs; (ii) Sharing and assessing information on WTO-plus elements of RTAs/FTAs; (iii) Holding annual dialogues and reports on RTAs/FTAs; and (iv) Reinforcing and intensifying use of WTO RTA transparency mechanism. A policy dialogue on information sharing on RTAs/FTAs in Asia-Pacific Region was held in Qingdao on 8 May. The objective of the dialogue was to raise awareness and enhance understanding of APEC economies on the development of RTAs/FTAs in the region as well as to promote exchanges of experiences and practices in developing, negotiating and implementing RTAs/FTAs among APEC economies.
CTI welcomed the progress achieved in implementing the Action Plan Framework for Regional Economic Integration (REI) Capacity Building Needs Initiative adopted in 2012 and noted the preparatory work underway to assess the completed activities, conduct a capacity building needs survey and map future activities.
Bogor Goals Progress Report 2014
CTI oversaw the preparation and submission of Individual Action Plans in 2014, as provided for in the Bogor Goals Progress Report Guidelines adopted in 2011 for reviewing 21 economies’ progress towards achieving free and open trade and investment by 2020. The APEC’s 2014 Bogor Goals Progress Report and updated Bogor Goals Progress Report were presented by the Policy Support Unit at the 2nd Senior Officials Meeting in Beijing on 14-15 May in Qingdao, China.
Global Value Chains
CTI agreed to a proposal on the APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains (GVCs) Development and Cooperation and adopted the Strategic Framework on Measurement of APEC Trade in Value-added under GVCs. An APEC Public-Private Dialogue on Building Asia-Pacific Partnership through Global Value Chains Collaboration was held on 12 May in Qingdao to improve awareness of the changing international business situation; promote awareness and understanding of global value chain relevant policies and regulations in each APEC economy; and to enable corporations and developing economies to more actively engage in and further integrate global value chains and supply chains.
Next Generation Trade and Investment Issues
CTI continues to advance the implementation of next generation trade and investment issues selected for work in 2011 and 2012. CTI members adopted “manufacturing related services in supply chains/value chains” as a new next generation trade and investment issue for work in 2014 and 2015.
Environmental Goods and Services (EGS)/Green Growth
CTI received updates from economies on progress in implementing their commitments to reduce their tariffs on the APEC List of 54 Environmental Goods (adopted in 2012) by five percent or less by the end-2015.
CTI also received updates on the organization of first Public-Private Partnership EGS (PPEGS) dialogue on clean and renewable energy and workshop on Capacity Building on Implementation of APEC’s Environmental Goods List commitments in the margins of the third CTI meeting in Beijing in August.
Supply-Chain Connectivity Framework and Action Plan (SCFAP)
At the first CTI meeting, the Committee welcomed the establishment of a new sub-fund on supply chain connectivity under the APEC Support Fund to meet capacity-building needs for economies in enhancing their supply chain performance.
At the second CTI meeting, members agreed to the Capacity Building Plan to Improve Supply Chain Performance to advance Stage 3 of the systematic approach to the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework and Action Plan (SCFAP) and the establishment of the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) to advise and assist in the capacity building. The A2C2, open to participation to interested stakeholders, experts from APEC economies, companies, industry associations, multilateral institutions and non-governmental organisations, will convene for the first time in the margins of the third CTI meeting in Beijing in August. CTI also agreed to the Initiative on Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network.
CTI continues to explore how global data standards (GDS) may be applied to enhance connectivity and improve supply chain performance. Global data standards provide standardized product identification and data infrastructure captured in product bar codes that serve as an important tool for effective border control and supply chain management. A capacity building workshop on global data standards was held on 9 May in Qingdao with an objective to enhance stakeholders’ understanding about the potential benefits of global data standards through information sharing on different applications of global data standards in supply chains for trade facilitation, border management and information system interoperability. A half-day Trade Policy Dialogue with a view developing policy recommendations for forward work to improve supply chain performance and enhancing connectivity through the use of GDS is being scheduled to take place in the margins of the third CTI meeting in Beijing in August. See recent news release on CTI’s global data standards project.
Expanding Regulatory Cooperation and Advancing Regulatory Convergence
CTI held the 2014 APEC Regulatory Advancement Mechanism (ARCAM) Dialogue on International Electric Vehicles Standards on 7 May in Qingdao. CTI would be reviewing the outcomes and recommendations from the dialogue with a view to finalizing them, including a draft roadmap for international electric vehicle standards for consideration at the next CTI meeting. See recent news release on CTI’s work on electric vehicle standards.
Other elements of CTI work program
CTI agreed to the APEC Strategic Plan on Capacity Building to Promote Trade and Investment that would help identify economies’ capacity building needs to advance APEC’s trade and investment agenda/commitments in a more systematic and focused manner.
More information about the CTI's work program can also be found in the CTI's sub-groups webpages. The CTI will next meet in August in Beijing to further progress its 2014 work program.
Average applied tariffs in APEC economies have been reduced from 16.9 percent in 1989, when APEC was established, to around 5.7 percent in 2011. APEC's total trade (goods and services) has increased from US$3.1 trillion in 1989 to over US$ 20 trillion in 2012. Intra-APEC merchandise trade (exports and imports) has grown from US$3.5 trillion in 1996 to US$11.8 trillion in 2012, accounting for 67 percent of APEC's total merchandise trade.
Average Tariffs in the APEC Region have Fallen from 1989 to 2011
CTI 2013 Work Plan
In 2013 CTI adopted a work program organized around five priority areas that contribute to APEC 2013 Priorities under the theme of “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth.” The five areas were:
Support for the multilateral trading system
Attaining the Bogor goals, trade and investment liberalization, and regional economic integration
Expanding regulatory cooperation and advancing regulatory coherence
Contributions to APEC growth strategy and cross-cutting mandates.
The 2013 CTI Annual Report to Ministers contains an overview of CTI’s work in 2013 and its 11 sub-fora and industry dialogues and the progress they made on their respective work programs.
CTI advances and achievements in 2013 include:
Agreement on APEC Best Practices to Create Jobs and Increase Competitiveness as an indicative model for driving new and expanded job creation, enhancing competitiveness, and attracting sustainable new investment, innovative technologies and business activity.
Agreement on a List of Inventories of specific policy recommendations under the systematic approach to improving supply chain performance that will provide a platform for diagnostic work and targeted capacity-building to assist economies in implementing these policies.
Progress made on implementing the Action Plans under the Supply-Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP) , including the 2013 interim assessment report of the SCFAP by the APEC Policy Support Unit which sets out progress by economies towards the target of a 10 percent improvement in supply-chain performance by 2015. The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade Index (ETI), as overall indicators, were taken to capture supply chain performance. The data below (ETI ICT Pillar) shows the progress APEC has made in terms of information and communications technology infrastructure in the supply chain context. APEC also showed significant progress in terms of the percent of shipments meeting quality criteria as reflected in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI).
APEC’s Progress on Logistics Performance Index (LPI) and Enabling Trade Index (ETI) Indicators
Establishment of the APEC Public-Private Partnership on Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) that would provide a platform for industry representatives and government officials to carry out dialogue on issues related to EGS trade and investment with a view to increasing understanding, experience-sharing, facilitating trade and investment and preventing trade frictions
Progress in advancing the next generation trade and investment issues identified by Ministers and Leaders, including the Conference on Innovation and Trade Implementation Practices; an issues paper on enhancing small and medium-sized enterprises participation in global production chains; a workshop on Facilitating Supporting Industries in APEC Member Economies; and a study on global supply chain operation in the APEC region: case study of electrical and electronic industry’s supply chain operations.
Progress on the development of the Innovation and Trade Implementation Practices to provide economies with practical guidance on implementing the commitments of promoting effective, non-discriminatory, market-driven innovation policy agreed by APEC Leaders in 2011.
Enhancing the capacity of officials to participate in the long term goal of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific through workshops on topics and issues covered in modern, comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs).
APEC’s Bogor Goals Dashboard of Indicators. Public release of the APEC Policy Support Unit’s (PSU) updated APEC’s Bogor Goals Dashboard of Indicators to provide easy-to-understand figures to track advances in greater regional economic integration and liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.
John LARKIN (Mr)
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Tel: +61-2 6261 3535
Catherine WONG (Ms)
Special Assistant to CTI Chair