APEC Working Group on Telecommunications Ministerial Statement

To promote APEC objectives as set forth in the Seoul APEC Declaration November 14, 1991 and confirmed at Bangkok on September 11, 1992 and recognizing that modern telecommunications and information technologies are vital prerequisites for fostering regional collaborative initiatives and increased economic cooperation,

APEC Ministers recommend that:

A. the flow of information, technology, and expertise should be encouraged in order to provide the means to facilitate the balanced growth of telecommunications necessary for economic development in APEC Economies;

B. the harmonization of networks and services based on common global standards should be encouraged as a means of promoting interconnectivity and interoperability of telecommunications networks, the flow of information in the region, and the introduction of new services, such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI);

C. the development and expansion of modern and compatible telecommunications infrastructure should be given a high priority in economic planning, in order to promote cooperation among APEC Economies and to accelerate the progress of societies and economies in the APEC region;

D. APEC Member Economies should strive to provide efficient and cost-effective telecommunications services generally available to all citizens and businesses within APEC Economies;

E. Human resource development, being critical for the operation and growth of modern telecommunications systems, should be given primary focus in the formulation of telecommunications policies and programs.

APEC Ministers encourage the Working Group on Telecommunications to undertake appropriate actions, including the development of procedures for regional harmonization of equipment certification and guidelines for the provision of International Value-Added Network Services.

(i) As the smooth flow of trade in telecommunications equipment promotes the deployment and expansion of telecommunications-based services, the Working Group should aim to ensure that technical standards and procedures for attachment of terminal equipment to the network facilitate trade and investment flows. Therefore, consistent with their national policies, APEC Economies should develop and adopt compatible procedures for the certification of telecommunications terminal equipment and recognition of technical test data, in order that equipment may be provided at lower prices for end-users, and at the same time, to improve market access for suppliers to APEC Economies.

(ii) To promote the flow of information necessary for economic development, the Working Group should adopt principles which will facilitate trade in telecommunications-based services. The Working Group should lay the groundwork, consistent with APEC Economies’ national policies, for promoting regional guidelines on the provision of International Value-Added Network Services (IVANS).