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1995 APEC Ministerial Meeting

"Partners for Progress (PFP)" aims at introducing in APEC a mechanism to further promote economic and technical cooperation on the basis of mutual assistance and voluntarism.
  1. The implementation of the Bogor Declaration comprises trade and investment liberalization, trade and investment facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation. These are the three basic pillars of APEC activities and APEC members need to move forward in all the three areas.
  2. The third pillar, i.e. economic and technical cooperation in APEC, consists of:
    1. cooperation that directly supports the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, and
    2. cooperation toward achieving sustainable growth, reducing economic disparities and improving economic and social well-being in the Asia-Pacific region. (The Bogor Declaration points out in paragraph 8 that such cooperation will also facilitate the growth of trade and investment in the region.)
  3. To date, some progress has been made in the above two areas but much remains to be done.
  4. Against this background, the proposed PFP mechanism is intended to promote more effectively and efficiently the cooperation mention in (2) above.

    PRP will, in particular, serve to actively promote cooperation related to the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment among APEC members.
The PFP Mechanism
  1. Guidelines
    1. Target areas: All areas addressed or to be addressed within APEC. PFP should be particularly focused on cooperation directly supporting the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.
    2. Mutual assistance and voluntarism: PFP projects should ensure that mainly the region's developing economies and as many other members as possible benefit from the projects, and should encourage the contributions of the benefiting members themselves to promote cooperation among all members participating in the project.
      Members participating in PFP projects are encouraged to consider possible ways of cooperation given their respective range of resources.
    3. Initiator: A member becomes the initiator of a PFP project on a voluntary basis. Based on the program process mentioned below, the initiator of a project bears the primary responsibility for the implementation of that project.
    4. Utilization of the Existing APEC Structures: PFP will make use of the existing APEC structure, and will not require the creation of new groups, committees or other organizations, or a new special approval process.
    Program Process
    1. Project Formulation
      1. An APEC member volunteers to become the initiator and proposes a candidate PFP project in draft form at one of the Working Groups or other relevant APEC fora for its consideration. (The project draft will contain such elements as objectives, proposed activities, duration, cost estimates and financing.)
        At the Working Group or relevant forum, the initiator takes into account the views expressed and reformulates as necessary the draft candidate project. At the same time, it calls on other members to participate.
        This process results in the formulation of a candidate PFP project with an initiator and an agreement on the part of a number of members to take part in that project.
      2. The APEC Secretariat shall be informed of developments in the above process from the initial draft project proposal to the resulting formulation of the candidate project and shall, in turn, inform other relevant Working Groups and APEC fora.
      1. The initiator as well as the Working Group should make sure that PFP projects avoid duplication with existing regional projects in the field of economic and technical cooperation.
      2. APEC members participate in a PFP project on a voluntary basis. On the other hand, three or more members including the initiator should be involved in a given PFP project.
      3. Members wishing to participate in a project are encouraged to consider ways in which they can cooperate and make contributions within their respective range of resources.
        Financial contributions may come from official flows or other supplementary sources such as business associations, foundations and other private sector organizations.
    1. Project Implementation
      1. Once a candidate project is formulated, the Working Group or relevant forum submits the project to the BAC (Budget and Administration Committee) and the SOM (Senior Officials Meeting), and obtain SOM's approval.
        Following the above approval, the project will be implemented by the initiator and the participating members.
      2. The APEC Secretariat will receive information on the implementation of the project and will inform APEC members when necessary.
      1. PFP projects are not be ephemeral events, but projects that continue for an appreciable period of time and produce tangible results.
    Role of the Secretariat
    1. In order that APEC members and concerned APEC fora be duly informed about PFP so as to promote transparency and avoid duplication in APEC's efforts, the APEC Secretariat will be entrusted with the task of collecting and disseminating information about proposed and ongoing PFP projects. The Secretariat, in this way, will make available within APEC a pool of information relative to PFP.
      It will bear no decision making role.
    2. For the above purpose, a single member of the Secretariat will;
      1. collect and compile information related to the formulation, approval and implementation of PFP projects,
      2. distribute the above information to all relevant APEC fora, and
      3. respond to inquiries by APEC members by providing information at his/her disposal.

    The following proposal was adopted by APEC Ministers at their Seventh Ministerial Meeting in Osaka in November 1995
    1. It is important that on the one hand APEC neither gives the appearance of being a closed shop nor cuts itself off from useful contact with non-member economies, while on the other that it gives due weight to the need for consolidation and effectiveness.
    2. The following principles are proposed in considering any application:
      1. Non-member participation in any WG should be determined by the individual WG concerned by consensus;
      2. Each application should be considered on its own merits;
      3. While geographic location should be given primary weight, consideration should be given to specific expertise or information which the applicant possesses;
      4. The WG must be satisfied that the applicant can make a significant contribution to the work of the Group; and
      5. Participation in WG must be clearly understood not to imply any tacit endorsement of future membership or observer status in other APEC activities.
    3. This last principle is particularly important. There must be no linkage between participation in APEC WGs and any application for a full membership of APEC. In other words, participation in a WG is neither necessary nor sufficient for a successful application to become an APEC member.
    1. It is proposed that participation by non-members should be managed as follows:
      1. Other than members, the APEC Secretariat and observers, all participants should be designated as guests.
      2. Once consensus has been reached in the WG concerned, the Lead Shepherd should seek covering approval from the Senior Officials of all member economies through the Secretariat;
      3. The terms of participation should then be conveyed to the guests in standard form by the Lead Shepherd of the WG; and
      4. Guests status should be granted on a one-calendar-year basis, with renewal of participation subject to the same procedure as a new application or invitation.
    2. It is not proposed that any additional category of participation be introduced beyond the existing four, i.e. member, APEC Secretariat, observer and guest.

    Each of the APEC economies will appoint no more than three representatives to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) from the business/private sector. These representatives should reflect the interests of a broad spectrum of the sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises. In appointing their representatives and deciding upon the terms of their appointments, each APEC economy should take into account the need for some degree of continuity.
    ABAC will be asked to find appropriate ways to engage other regional business/private sector organizations, such as PBEC, PECC and APB-NET, in APEC activities.
    ABAC itself will determine the structure and function of the ABAC Secretariat. The Institute for Policy Studies in Singapore is expected to provide assistance in the initial stages.
    The funding for ABAC will not be provided by the APEC Central Fund but by other sources including the business/private sector; however, in the initial year of operation, the APEC Central Fund may disburse funds to assist with ABAC expenses.
    ABAC Activities:
    ABAC will have two main functions. One will be to provide advice on implementation of the Action Agenda and on other specific business sector priorities. Its second function will be to respond when various APEC fora request information about business-related issues or the business perspective on specific areas of cooperation.
    ABAC will provide reports on its activities to the Leaders, as well as to the Ministers through the Senior Officials Meetings.
    Initial Phase:
    1. 1996, first quarter: APEC economies will appoint the first ABAC representatives.
    2. 1996, first half: Inaugural meeting of ABAC will be held.
    3. 1996 APEC Ministerial Meeting: ABAC will report its decisions on structure, funding and activities.