Skip to main content

APEC Economic Leaders' Statement on Doha Development Agenda Negotiations

  1. We, the APEC Economic Leaders, believe that the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations have an unmatched potential to strengthen the multilateral trading system, promote global economic growth and, in particular, improve economic development opportunities for developing countries. Achieving the DDA is a crucial component of the global partnership to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For this reason, the Doha Round must be carried to a successful conclusion - at the high level of ambition established in the Doha Declaration - by the end of 2006.
  2. APEC economies, which represent close to 50 per cent of world trade and almost 60 per cent of global GDP, have benefited greatly from an open trading system. Average tariffs of APEC economies have been reduced by two-thirds in the last 15 years. This has been a period of rapid economic growth, particularly for APECs lower income economies. The Doha Round is essential to keeping APEC economies on this path of growth and development. It is also essential for all WTO Members.
  3. The Hong Kong Ministerial will be a critical step in achieving this goal. Significant progress must be made in Hong Kong in resolving still remaining considerable divergences and a clear roadmap for completion of the Round in 2006 must be established. There is more at stake here than just another phase of economic liberalization. A successful conclusion of the Doha Round is crucial for the future credibility of the WTO and the rules-based multilateral trading system.
  4. All WTO Members must achieve an ambitious and overall balanced outcome at the end of the Round, which include, among others: a comprehensive package in agriculture to ensure substantial reductions in trade distorting domestic support, substantial improvements in market access by significantly lowering tariffs and reducing quantitative restrictions, and the elimination of all forms of export subsidies of developed Members by 2010; an agreement on non-agricultural market access through a Swiss formula with ambitious coefficients and sectoral agreements on a voluntary basis that will ensure real market access improvements for all WTO Members; an agreement in services that will create commercially meaningful and real market access opportunities in all WTO Members; clarification and improvement of the WTO rules for securing and enhancing benefits in market access that will ensure clearer and more predictable trade disciplines; and clearer and improved WTO rules for trade facilitation that will contribute to further expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods.
  5. We call for breaking the current impasse in agricultural negotiations, in particular in market access, which will unblock other key areas, including non-agricultural products and services. Unless progress is made in this area, we cannot make progress in the Round as a whole. Avoiding or compromising our ambition on this issue would mean that we would lower expectations for the Round as a whole.
  6. We must ensure that the DDA reflects the development dimension in all negotiating areas and delivers real development benefits. The DDA should also take into account the needs and interest of developing Members and, in particular, the special needs of the least developed countries (LDCs). We look forward to a considerable progress on the LDC issues at the Hong Kong Ministerial.
  7. We, the APEC Leaders, are committed to face up to the political challenges associated with the DDA. We are ready to provide strong political leadership and the commitment necessary to produce in Hong Kong a sound platform for successfully concluding the negotiations. We urge all other WTO members, and especially those that have the largest stake in the global trading system and derive the biggest benefits therefrom, to show the flexibilities needed to move the negotiations forward by and beyond Hong Kong.