20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

September 8-9, 2012
Vladivostok, Russia

Table of Contents

Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper

We, the Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), gathered in Vladivostok, Russia on 8-9 September 2012 for the 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting under the APEC 2012 theme of "Integrate to Grow, Innovate to Prosper" to reveal the pathways to strengthen the region’s prosperity and leadership in the global economy.

APEC economies have made enormous progress over the past two decades and are looking forward to continuing to grow and prosper in the coming years. Since the first APEC Leaders’ Meeting in 1993 in Seattle, USA, our trade has grown four times and foreign direct investment in the Asia-Pacific region has been growing at an annual rate of more than 20 percent. We are looking forward to building on this success by taking additional steps to promote our shared economic growth and prosperity in the coming years.

We recognize that robust international trade, investment, and economic integration are key drivers of strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. With all APEC economies now being members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), we strongly reaffirm our commitment to trade and investment liberalization and facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since we last met, the global economy has continued to face a number of challenges and is subject to downside risks. The financial markets remain fragile, while high public deficits and debts in some advanced economies are creating strong headwinds to economic recovery globally. The events in Europe are adversely affecting growth in the region. In such circumstances, we are resolved to work collectively to support growth and foster financial stability, and restore confidence. We are committed to strengthening domestic demand where appropriate, facilitating job creation, reducing high public deficits and debts, and implementing structural reforms to boost growth in our economies.

We welcome the European Leaders’ commitment to take all necessary measures to safeguard the integrity and stability of the Euro area. We remain committed to reducing imbalances by strengthening deficit economies’ public finances with sound and sustainable policies that take into account evolving economic conditions and, in economies with large current account surpluses, by strengthening domestic demand and moving toward greater exchange rate flexibility. We reaffirm our commitment to move more rapidly toward market-determined exchange rate systems and enhance exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying fundamentals, avoid persistent exchange rate misalignments, and refrain from competitive devaluation of currencies. While capital flows can be beneficial to recipient economies, we reiterate that excess volatility of financial flows and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability.

Fiscal sustainability remains an important element of sustained economic growth, but it was negatively impacted by recent financial crises. Under these circumstances, we remain committed to ensuring the long-term fiscal sustainability of our economies while recognizing the need to support their recoveries within the available fiscal space. Expenditures related to aging population should be taken into account in fiscal projections. Fiscal sustainability can be at risk from high private indebtedness and vulnerable banking sectors, which need to be closely monitored.

We welcome the outcomes of the G20 Los Cabos Summit. We support the G20 commitment to pursue strong, sustainable and balanced growth, which we are convinced will promote higher job creation and increase the welfare of people around the world. We will continue to take coordinated and collaborative efforts to reach these common goals.

We note the review of APEC’s work undertaken to support the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy, welcome the steps taken to implement the APEC Growth Strategy and appreciate the progress made, especially towards sustainable and innovative growth in 2011 and 2012. We encourage Ministers and officials to continue working to promote growth elements in advance of their 2015 report to Leaders on APEC’s progress in promoting the Growth Strategy.

We strongly commit to fight against corruption to ensure openness and transparency in APEC. Acknowledging that corruption fuels illicit trade and insecurity and is a tremendous barrier to economic growth, the safety of citizens, and to the strengthening of economic and investment cooperation among APEC economies, we endorse commitments on fighting corruption and ensuring transparency (see Annex E).

Trade and Investment Liberalization, Regional Economic Integration

We reiterate the importance of international trade to economic recovery, job creation and development, and the value and centrality of the multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO.

We reaffirm our commitment to strengthen this system. In working towards the successful multilateral conclusion of the Doha Development Round, we reaffirm the instructions to our officials in Geneva to continue exploring different, fresh and credible negotiating approaches while respecting the Doha mandate, the principles of transparency, the importance of the multilateral trading system, and development. We remain firmly committed to advancing the technical discussions actively taking place in Geneva on trade facilitation and other development-related issues as mandated by the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference. We direct our Ministers to continue to work to advance these objectives, and to comprehensively and realistically review the progress achieved in the WTO by the next meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade in 2013.

In view of the rise in protectionist trends and continuing uncertainties in the global economy, we reaffirm our pledge to refrain through the end of 2015 from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO-inconsistent measures in all areas, including those that stimulate exports. We reaffirm our commitment to rollback protectionist measures and continue maximum restraint in implementing WTO-consistent measures with a significant protectionist effect. We recognize the important role that the WTO plays in reducing protectionism and encourage the WTO and other international organisations to deepen their monitoring of protectionist measures, consistent with their respective mandates.

We welcome the ongoing work to expand the product coverage and membership of the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and instruct our officials to work in earnest in order to swiftly achieve a good outcome of the negotiations.

We underline the importance of the Bogor Goals, and reaffirm our commitment to address issues that will help APEC economies to achieve them. We recognize that Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) is a major instrument to further APEC’s regional economic integration agenda. Taking note of various regional undertakings that could be developed and built upon as a way towards an eventual FTAAP, we direct Ministers to continue to facilitate APEC’s role as an incubator of a FTAAP and to explore ways forward towards its realization by providing leadership and intellectual input into the process of its development.

We remain committed to addressing next generation trade and investment issues as an important aspect of our work to further integration of APEC economies and expansion of trade throughout the region.

We welcome addressing in 2012 transparency as a new next generation trade and investment issue, and the endorsement of the APEC Model Chapter on Transparency for RTAs/FTAs to be used as a guide by APEC economies. Transparency is one of the basic principles underlying trade liberalization and facilitation, important to our businesses and workers, and to eliminating and addressing barriers to trade. We believe this work will contribute to the successful implementation of APEC's regional economic integration agenda, will promote convergence on how APEC economies address transparency issues in their RTAs/FTAs and provide for concrete steps towards establishment of a FTAAP.

We recognize the importance of addressing unnecessary barriers to trade by advancing regulatory convergence and coherence to achieving our shared objectives of strengthening regional economic integration and ensuring product safety, supply chain integrity, and environmental protection. In this regard, we reaffirm our 2011 commitment to strengthen implementation of good regulatory practices, including through capacity building. Taking these steps is essential to building a high-quality regulatory environment across the Asia-Pacific, and to achieving our goal of achieving free and open trade and investment in the region.

We recognize the importance of adopting and maintaining laws, regulations, and practices that facilitate investment. We reaffirm the importance of continued efforts to improve the investment climate in the APEC region, including through the exchange of experiences in mechanisms for dispute avoidance and resolution. We acknowledge the critical importance of private sector investment in regional infrastructure development, and encourage broader work in the format of public-private partnerships.

We reaffirm our commitment to promote green growth and to seeking practical, trade-enhancing solutions to address global environmental challenges. In 2012, we made considerable progress in this regard. We welcome and endorse the APEC List of Environmental Goods that directly and positively contribute to our green growth and sustainable development objectives (see Annex C). We reaffirm our commitment to reduce our applied tariff rates to five percent or less on these environmental goods by the end of 2015, taking into account economies’ economic circumstances without prejudice to their positions in the WTO. By reducing tariffs on environmental goods, we will help our businesses and citizens to access important environmental technologies, which will facilitate their deployment, and use contributing significantly to our green growth and trade liberalization objectives.

While supporting sustainable growth, we agree that promoting green growth should not be used as an excuse to introduce protectionist measures. We are committed to ensuring that our actions to protect the environment are least trade restrictive and consistent with our international trade obligations.

We recognize that natural resources and the ecosystems upon which they depend are important foundations for sustainable economic growth. We therefore, are concerned by the escalating illicit trafficking in endangered and protected wildlife, including marine resources, and associated products, which has economic, social, security, and environmental consequences in our economies.  We commit to strengthen our efforts to combat illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and associated products, to implement measures to ensure sustainable marine and forest ecosystems management, and to facilitate sustainable, open, and fair trade of non-timber forest products. We will take meaningful steps to promote sustainable management and conservation of wildlife populations while addressing both the illegal supply and demand for endangered and protected wildlife, through capacity building, cooperation, increased enforcement, and other mechanisms.

We recognize the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) as a crucial driver for further integration in the APEC region. We believe it is possible and necessary to be more active in promoting confidence and trust in electronic environments globally by encouraging secure cross border flows of information, including electronic documents. We reaffirm the necessity of multi-stakeholder cooperation to continue efforts to expand and strengthen the Asia-Pacific Information Infrastructure and to build confidence and security in the use of ICT. We encourage the cooperation of member economies to improve disaster preparedness, response and recovery through the development of ICTs and promotion of appropriate systems and technologies and welcome the discussion on supporting people affected by disasters and emergencies through enhanced and timely access to information about risks.

We acknowledge the need for joint actions to prevent the negative influence on the world’s economy from carbon emissions. We commit to strengthen APEC energy security (see Annex B), to promote energy efficiency and develop cleaner energy sources for sustainable development.

We reaffirm the importance of structural reforms to raise productivity and growth potential in our economies and welcome progress on the APEC’s New Strategy for Structural Reform (ANSSR) endorsed in 2010. We instruct our officials to provide a mid-term assessment report in 2013 to track progress towards ANSSR implementation and encourage collaboration and capacity building among developed and developing economies to expedite the achievement of structural reform objectives.

Strengthening Food Security

We recognize growing challenges to regional and global food security in the risks facing the world economy. Given the growing world population, reducing the number of undernourished people by raising food production, improving the individuals’ or households’ economic access to food and improving the efficiency and openness of food markets will require more concerted effort by and cooperation among all APEC economies. APEC has given its efforts to strengthen food security through the implementation of the Niigata Declaration and progress made in the Kazan Declaration on Food Security. To advance this work, we are committed to increasing sustainable agricultural production and productivity, considering the diversity of environmental conditions world-wide and positive externalities of agriculture, further facilitating trade and developing food markets, enhancing food safety, improving access to food for vulnerable groups and improving farmer’s welfare. We will implement measures to help ensure sustainable marine ecosystems management and combating illegal fishing and associated trade.

Sustainable agricultural growth is a priority for all our economies. In pursuing this goal we will take concrete actions to raise productivity in agriculture by boosting investment and adopting innovative technologies in agriculture, including agriculture biotechnology. We emphasize the importance of open and transparent market mechanisms in ensuring food security. We stress the need to create an enabling environment that encourages increased public and private investment in agriculture, and we recognize the important role of public-private partnerships in the field of investment. We appreciate the positive role of foreign direct investment in increasing agricultural production, we note the Principles for Responsible Agriculture Investment (PRAI) and welcome ongoing work in other international organizations to identify best practices for responsible agricultural investment.

We acknowledge the increasing importance of encouraging the safe development and implementation of innovative agricultural technologies since land, water, forest and other natural resources are limited. This requires a significant increase of long-term investment into agricultural research, and development along with the adoption of transparent, science-based regulatory approaches for innovative agricultural technologies that are consistent with international obligations. We agree that it is also necessary to strengthen domestic and international agricultural research systems. We will facilitate better coordination, interaction and capacity building among research institutes and innovation centers, including through regional networks. We will encourage dissemination and utilization of innovative technologies by farmers in an effective, market-driven, and voluntary manner. We will also look for ways to mitigate the effects of agriculture on climate change and support efficient and sustainable use of agricultural and natural resources, in particular, land, forests, water and biodiversity.

We recognize that a more open, stable, predictable rule-based and transparent agricultural trading system has a crucial role to play in enhancing food security. Recognizing that bans and other restrictions on the export of food may cause price volatility, especially for economies that rely on imports of staple products, we reiterate our pledge against protectionism. We are determined to ensure fair and open markets, reduce price volatility, and establish greater regional and global food security and confirm our commitment to develop food markets infrastructure, reduce post-harvest losses along the entire food supply chain.

Noting the important contribution of greater transparency and effective food market monitoring to reducing food price volatility, we welcome the progress made in implementing the Asia-Pacific Food Security Information Platform (APIP) and therefore support cooperation between APIP, the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and the Rapid Response Forum, launched by the G20.

We believe that deeper involvement of the relevant private and public sector stakeholders into APEC’s food security efforts will contribute significantly to addressing our shared goals. We welcome the establishment of the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) and the outcomes of its meeting in 2012.

We will also take the following steps to promote our food security goals:

  • Supporting the effective and multi-faceted work of the Food Safety Cooperation Forum;
  • Encouraging further cooperation and dialogue among the economies on understanding, recognition and capacity building regarding the benefits of harmonizing domestic regulations on food safety and quality with international standards consistent with the WTO Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade and on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures;
  • Striving to improve domestic food safety systems by implementing preventive control measures, building information sharing networks, strengthening laboratory capacity, and building regional capacity to respond to high priority food safety hazards and minimize food safety incidents;
  • Exploring ways to improve economic and physical access to food for vulnerable groups, including those facing an emergency due to natural and anthropogenic disasters; encouraging exchange of best practices on the provision of food for vulnerable populations, including through social and school feeding; strengthening sustainable social protection and social safety nets;
  • Enhancing cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and associated trade; working towards sustainable management of marine ecosystems; improving capture fisheries management and sustainable aquaculture practices; and facilitating sustainable, open and fair trade in products of fisheries and aquaculture.

Establishing Reliable Supply Chains

We reaffirm our commitment to achieving an APEC-wide target of a ten percent improvement in supply-chain performance by 2015, in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region, taking into consideration individual economy's circumstances. We welcome the adoption of a more systematic approach to addressing existing chokepoints in supply chains through targeted capacity-building and concrete steps towards making supply chains more reliable, resilient, safe, efficient, transparent, diversified and intelligent, and direct officials to advance this work in 2012 to be completed by 2014.

Recognizing the large volume of trade in our region, we agree that the reliability of supply chains is crucial to facilitate trade, maintain sustainable development, and ensure economic, energy, food, and environmental security in the APEC region and around the world. We encourage continued discussion with the business community and other relevant stakeholders on the diversification of transportation routes in the region and resiliency planning in order to build the most efficient supply chain networks. We believe that it is essential to continue work to streamline customs procedures among APEC economies.

We agree that it is also crucial to advance the discussion on the technological enhancement of supply chains with a view to promoting greener, smarter, more efficient and intelligent supply chains. We support continued discussion with the business community and other relevant stakeholders on Authorized Economic Operators programs, in line with the World Customs Organization/APEC SAFE Framework of Standards, and on improving supply chain performance, coordination and visibility through information sharing, enhancing the capacity of local or regional logistics sub-providers, developing early warning systems for emergencies to increase the safety, security and reliability of cross-border transactions, wider implementation of tracking technologies and better control and tracking of the movement of bulk cargo, dangerous goods and hazardous materials. We welcome work on services liberalization and innovation to facilitate global supply chain connectivity and enhance economies’ capacity.

We acknowledge that terrorism is a serious threat to economic growth, security, stability and supply chain reliability within the APEC region. Thus, we reaffirm our commitments to implement the APEC Consolidated Counter-Terrorism and Secure Trade Strategy and support deeper cooperation and capacity building across the Strategy’s priority areas of secure trade, travel, finance, and infrastructure to make regional commerce more secure, efficient, and resilient.

We recognize the significance of travel and tourism as a vehicle for job creation, economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific. Tourism represents a special case of cross border supply chains where a variety of services are supplied to meet the requirements of increasing international tourist flows. Supported by adequate infrastructure, this leads to creating new growth and employment opportunities throughout the whole supply chain. We therefore commend the efforts by APEC Tourism and Transport Ministers to encourage facilitation of international travel, to assess the liberalization of air transportation services and to improve safety and security of tourist products.

Recognizing the vulnerabilities of our economies to natural and anthropogenic disasters, we reaffirm the importance of enhancing preventative measures, emergency preparedness, disaster resiliency and fostering of scientific and technical cooperation among APEC economies, communities and businesses in this regard. We recognize the importance of easing the mobility of relief assistance in the aftermath of disaster to minimize casualties. Highlighting the need for greater coordination and better connectivity in disaster management, we support the idea of promoting and facilitating business continuity and resiliency planning especially among small and medium-sized enterprises. We also support fostering public-private partnerships, establishing common standards for emergency early warning systems in cross-border transportation, furthering the development of an operational trade recovery communications mechanism based on the APEC Trade Recovery Program and developing cooperation for emergency management and disaster response preparedness among Crisis Management Centers (CMCs) in APEC economies, including with other regional CMCs such as the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In view of high economic costs incurred by many APEC economies due to natural catastrophes in recent years, we note timeliness and the importance of strengthening our resilience against disasters through the development of disaster risk management (DRM) strategies. We recognize that integrated disaster risk financing policies are part of overall disaster response preparedness. In this regard we recognize the value of knowledge exchange within APEC and beyond and appreciate the joint efforts of the World Bank, the OECD, the ADB and other bodies’ joint efforts to elaborate practically applicable guidelines for financial authorities’ responses to natural disasters with due regard the work undertaken by the G20. In developing these policies, attention should be given to advance planning and preparation measures by financial authorities.

Intensive Cooperation to Foster Innovative Growth

Recognizing the importance of innovation to our shared goals of economic growth, prosperity, and job creation, in 2012 APEC economies took important steps towards the development of effective, non-discriminatory and market-driven innovation policies and refinement of our vision of innovation cooperation and networking in the region (see Annex A). 

This year we have advanced these objectives by transforming the Industrial Science and Technology Working Group into a Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) to bring together the three key groups of innovation stakeholders – business, government, and academia – to address common challenges, enhance innovation capacity. The PPSTI will also organize Innovation Technology Dialogues - a mechanism to explore and identify how emerging innovative technologies and related policies and instruments can address current challenges faced by APEC economies and what are the prospects for their application. We welcome the results of the first ever Innovation Technology Dialogue on nanotechnology for energy efficiency.

We also welcome New Zealand and Indonesia’s willingness to jointly co-chair a meeting of APEC Chief Science Advisers in 2013, to reinforce senior science relations across the Asia Pacific.

We recognize the importance of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) and believe that they are a significant driver of development and innovation in the Asia-Pacific region that will improve the quality of economic integration and competitiveness of our economies. To support SMMEs’ growth potential, we commit to continue building competitive, open and transparent business environments, assist SMMEs' internationalization and support of export-oriented SMMEs, strengthen their access to markets and financing, and promote innovation as a key competitive advantage for SMMEs.

We note the importance to our innovation goals of assisting SMMEs at an early stage, and expanding opportunities for youth and women. Given the significance of start-ups and young entrepreneurs to economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, we support the implementation of the Young Entrepreneurs Network and APEC Start-up Accelerator Initiative. We encourage the mutually beneficial collaboration among firms, big or small, to foster their intellectual capital, optimize their core competencies, and minimize potential disputes that would discourage SMME development.

Education is an essential driver of innovative growth in the APEC region and we support the steps taken by our economies to pursue practical and sustainable cooperation in this field. This includes efforts to enhance the mobility of students, researchers, and education providers within APEC through the development of higher education cooperation (see Annex D).

Recognizing that a healthy population is crucial for sustainable development of human resources, and therefore, for sustainable economic development and innovative growth in the APEC region, we support the efforts made by our economies to address health issues across sectors, and encourage further concrete steps to strengthen health systems by preventing non-communicable diseases, promoting and investing in health and healthy lifestyles and wellness across the life course starting from maternal, infant and child health through to the end of life.

We reaffirm the crucial role of women in achieving economic prosperity and inclusive growth in the APEC region and encourage investing in women through the creation of better business opportunities for women and including them in the innovative economy. We acknowledge that many barriers still exist, especially in the areas of access to capital, access to markets, skills and capacity building, and women’s leadership. We welcome the outcomes of the APEC Women and the Economy Forum and reaffirm our commitment to take concrete actions to increase women’s participation and empowerment in the economy.

Looking Forward

We believe that the work that has been done in APEC in 2012 to build a more integrated society and ensure innovation-based economic growth will contribute to our common goal of achieving prosperity for APEC economies. We endorse in full the Joint Statement of Ministers at the 24th APEC Ministerial Meeting.

We support the increasing engagement of the APEC Business Advisory Council which contributes significantly to greater collaboration between the public and private sectors. We remain fully committed to facilitate the role of APEC’s business community and to provide more opportunities for its participation in APEC’s work.

We reaffirm our commitment to provide effective economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) activities outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda and to assist APEC members in accordance with the Manila Framework.

Facing threats to growth and financial instability, we will continue to take necessary and concrete actions to mitigate negative effects, build resilience of APEC economies and reach new heights in the development of our region.

We welcome the offer of the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and Peru to host APEC in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

We welcome the invitation from the President of Indonesia to meet again in Bali in 2013.


Towards Innovative Growth

Innovations permeate all areas of the economy and society. In order to promote innovation, to create new and unique combinations of inputs and to implement advanced technological, organizational and other solutions, we need to effectively combine the potential of all economies.

The APEC Leaders' Growth Strategy in 2010 recognized innovation development as one of the key factors of economic growth and prosperity. The 2011 Honolulu Declaration emphasized that open and non-discriminatory trade and investment policies that foster competition and encourage the creation of innovations and the capacity to innovate are critical aspects of innovation strategy.

To take this work forward and intensify regional cooperation, we, the APEC Leaders, agree to:

  • Strengthen cooperation among innovators of APEC economies to boost the accumulated innovative potential and improve innovation capacity of the APEC region;
  • Increase and formalize opportunities for the private sector to provide input into APEC’s ongoing work on innovation to ensure that our work is responsive to the needs of business;
  • Continue cooperation among government, scientists, and business to promote innovation and address issues that impact specific innovative technologies, including through the newly established APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation, future Innovation Technology Dialogues, and continued work in the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum;
  • Organize a meeting of APEC Chief Science Advisors, bringing together APEC economies' most senior science advisers with the goal of reinforcing senior science and innovation relations across the Asia-Pacific;
  • Promote innovation through increased trade and investment and broader implementation of information and communication technologies, including by supporting regulatory coherence and cooperation in the field of e-commerce;
  • Consistent with the 2011 Leaders’ commitments in this area continue work to implement policies that will promote effective, non-discriminatory, and market-driven domestic innovation policies by producing innovation practices in 2013 that will assist economies in integrating these commitments into their domestic policy frameworks;
  • Promote an innovation-friendly environment and stimulate jobs and economic growth in APEC economies by strengthening intellectual property protection and enforcement that provide for and protect the incentives that encourage creativity and innovation and provide the tools for successful management and utilization of intellectual property;
  • Enhance SMMEs development as a source of innovative ideas and expand their capacity to innovate;
  • Support start-ups and young entrepreneurs through various mechanisms, including by rewarding the efforts of young scientists through the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE);
  • Facilitate women’s participation and empowerment in the innovative economy by enhancing business opportunities, fostering engagement in innovation and promoting investment in human capital;

We direct Ministers and officials to develop activities that will assist economies to effectively implement these steps, identify and address the challenges of innovative growth, and promote long-term innovative development in the Asia-Pacific.


Strengthening APEC Energy Security

Global financial uncertainties, political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, and carbon emissions from fossil fuel consumption can negatively influence the world’s economy and pose new challenges to the secure and sustainable growth of global and regional energy markets.

We recognize the major role fossil fuels will continue to play meeting the growing energy demand in the Asia-Pacific energy mix. At the same time we will further promote energy efficiency and cleaner energy supplies as a priority to boost both sustainable development and energy security, and reduce carbon emissions.

We, the APEC Leaders, agree to:

  • Continue working on improving sustainability, efficiency, predictability, and transparency of traditional energy markets;
  • Review the current state and prospects of energy markets of the APEC region, with a view to increasing the share of natural gas in the energy mix as one of the most widespread and cleanest burning fossil fuels in the region in order to facilitate the transition to a lower carbon economy without prejudice of other energy sources;
  • Evaluate production, trade potential and environmental impact of shale gas and other unconventional natural gas resources;
  • Promote steady investment in energy infrastructure, including natural gas liquefaction facilities, as appropriate for increasing energy security and economic growth in the APEC region;
  • Promote activities to improve the response to oil and gas emergency situations in the APEC region;
  • Ensure the safe and secure use of nuclear energy as a clean energy source in interested economies by sharing expertise, knowledge and best practices, improving nuclear safety standards and coordinating emergency response and preparedness mechanisms;
  • Strengthen cooperation among interested APEC member economies and relevant international organizations in the sphere of peaceful use of nuclear energy;
  • Promote technology development and deployment of a low-emission energy supply including carbon capture, storage and use, and renewable energy sources such as bioenergy from sustainable biomass sources;
  • Note the recommendations adopted at the first Innovation Technology Dialogue “Nanotechnology for Energy Efficiency”;
  • Implement the APEC Transportation and Energy Ministerial Conference Action Agenda adopted in San Francisco, United States in 2011 to promote energy efficient and sustainable transport systems development, including municipal and railway transportation, gas and electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient conventional vehicles in order to reduce oil dependency and harmful emissions from transport;
  • Rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, continue to build regional capacity for the reform of those subsidies and report annually on progress using the Voluntary Reporting Mechanism;
  • Share the results of research and analysis, develop an Action Plan in order to achieve the aspirational goal to reduce APEC's aggregate energy intensity by 45 per cent by 2035 while noting that individual economies' rates of improvement may differ due to varying domestic circumstances.


APEC List of Environmental Goods

APEC plays an important role in pursuing green growth in the region. While each economy has its own environmental and trade policies, it is vitally important to pursue common approaches to environmental challenges, and take coordinated actions to address climate change, such as promoting trade and investment in goods and services needed to protect our environment and developing and disseminating relevant technologies.

Trade and investment liberalization in environmental goods will help APEC businesses and citizens access important environmental technologies at lower cost, which in turn will facilitate their use and benefit the environment. In addition, it will contribute significantly to APEC’s core mission to promote free and open trade and investment, as embodied in the Bogor Goals.

In that light, we are pleased to endorse the below APEC List of Environmental Goods that directly and positively contribute to green growth and sustainable development objectives on which we will reduce applied tariff rates to 5 per cent or less by the end of 2015 taking into account economies’ economic circumstances and without prejudice to their positions in the World Trade Organization (WTO), as we committed in 2011.

We commit to continue capacity-building activities to assist economies in implementing tariff reductions on the agreed list of environmental goods.

We believe that reducing our tariffs on environmental goods demonstrates our commitment to pursuing green growth objectives, addressing climate change and securing sustainable economic development, and are committed to continuing APEC’s leadership role in this regard.

The full APEC List of Environmental Goods is available on APEC's official website.


Promoting Cross-Border Education Cooperation

Education is the pre-eminent source of economic development in the 21st century, creating more and higher quality jobs and bolstering productivity growth. Education is also a fundamental component of economic activity. Cooperation in the education sectors of APEC economies fosters innovative growth as students, researchers and education providers build scientific, technological and linguistic communities.

All APEC economies stand to gain from enhancing collaboration on cross-border education. Many developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region are rapidly moving into higher value-added manufacturing and knowledge intensive industries driven by innovation. Access to a wide range of quality higher education services is critical for sustainable growth on this development pathway. The APEC region also contains some of the world’s largest exporters and consumers of education services. Facilitating the flow of students, researchers and education providers, and reducing the transaction costs involved provides opportunities for a significant expansion of cross border education services to the benefit of all economies.

Increasing cross-border student flows will strengthen regional ties, build people to people exchanges, and promote economic development through knowledge and skills transfer. High quality cross-border education equips students with the 21st century competencies they need for their full participation in a globalized and knowledge based society.

Therefore, we, the APEC Leaders, agree that strengthening collaboration among APEC economies is crucial for facilitation of the work on specific policies, including those relating to quality assurance, accreditation, cross-border exchange and data collection. Such work will have a significant impact on the education sector in APEC economies. Important steps were made by economies in 2012 to enhance practical and sustainable educational cooperation, exploring a number of proposals for cross border education within the region as well as research, information, and knowledge sharing. We encourage further development, on a voluntary basis, consistent with individual economies' circumstances, of cross-border education cooperation and facilitation of exchange in education services within APEC in the following areas:

a)     Enhancing the mobility of students. This may be achieved, but not limited by the following:

  • identifying, comparing and implementing best practices among APEC economies for course accreditation and quality assurance systems, as well as targeted capacity building projects;
  • developing models to guide reform and implementation of good regulatory practices, drawing on case studies of domestic education providers;
  • exploring ways to increase the transparency of student visa requirements.

b)    Enhancing the mobility of researchers. This may be achieved, but not limited by the following:

  • developing existing academic exchanges and joint research activities between and among universities in APEC economies;
  • exploring ways to improve the mobility of the academic workforce.

c)     Enhancing the mobility of education providers. This may be achieved, but not limited by the following:

  • exploring ways to enhance transparency of regulation of foreign providers and to remove unnecessary barriers to market access;
  • mapping of existing regulations for the establishment of foreign providers;
  • benchmarking and identifying best practices in APEC on quality assurance systems.

d)    Enhancing the existing network of bilateral agreements. This may be achieved by, but is not limited by the following:

  • examining issues related to the flexible design and delivery of educational content (such as online courses) among APEC economies;
  • enhancing availability of data on educational programs in APEC economies.

We instruct Ministers and officials to take forward these priorities on cross-border student, researcher and education provider mobility to develop cross-border educational cooperation in the APEC region while taking into consideration the circumstances of individual economies.


Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency

We, the APEC Leaders, renew our commitment to fight corruption and to enhance transparency and accountability in our economies.

We recognize the direct link between vigorously fighting corruption and achieving progress in economic and social development. Corruption facilitates and is fueled by illicit trade as criminal entrepreneurs and illicit networks traffic, costing APEC economies jobs and vital tax revenue, corroding the integrity of legitimate supply chains, endangering the welfare, health and safety of our families and communities, and harming the economic interests of our businesses and markets. Corruption threatens our common goals of securing open markets, economic prosperity, and the rule of law.

Corruption can deter foreign and domestic investment, hamper and distort market competition, threaten consumer safety, and raise the cost of public services and infrastructure projects. It not only stifles economic growth and sustainable development but also fuels insecurity and instability by compromising public trust. Corruption of public officials undermines legal and judicial systems as well as public trust in government. The negative effect of corruption is felt by the poor in the most direct and disproportionate way.

We re-affirm the Santiago Commitment to Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency and the APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency, which guide the APEC’s work in this important area. In this regard we commend the efforts undertaken by the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Working Group (ACTWG) to implement the measures outlined in these guidelines, including through the development of tools such as the APEC Principles for Financial/Asset Disclosure by Public Officials.

We underscore our commitment to investigate and prosecute corruption offences in accordance with domestic law and to prevent corrupt holders of public office from accessing the proceeds of their criminal activities in our financial systems.

We emphasize the importance of effective preventive anticorruption measures. Corruption thrives in non-transparent environments. Transparency and public integrity are effective principles for preventing corruption and promoting good governance and sound management of public resources.

We remain committed to the goals of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Open Governance and Economic Growth. And we believe that economies and stakeholder communities – including representatives from business, academia, and non-governmental and labor organizations – can work to enhance public trust by committing to transparent, fair, and accountable governance. Open governance, technology, and innovation can help shed light on corruption and empower communities to monitor and voice their perspectives on government policies and the use of resources.

We are committed to increase public sector transparency and integrity in our economies and to reduce administrative burdens where appropriate and in accordance with domestic legal systems. We will work to enforce rigorously our anti-bribery laws and encourage strengthening procedures and controls to conduct enhanced due diligence on accounts of individuals who are, or have been, entrusted with prominent public functions including through enhanced financial and asset disclosure consistent with domestic legislation and administrative guidelines.

We will also work to facilitate recovery of the proceeds of corruption consistent with domestic legislation. We will continue, in compliance with our respective international commitments and domestic legislation, to investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them, including by vigorously enforcing our domestic bribery laws and our laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials, ensuring that measures against both supply and demand of corruption are effectively implemented in accordance with domestic legislation. We urge APEC economies that do not criminalize foreign bribery to adopt such legislation.

We will continue to work with all stakeholders on international and domestic financial markets to deny safe haven to assets illicitly acquired by individuals engaged in corruption and prevent corrupt officials and those who corrupt them from being able to travel abroad with impunity by denying entry and safe haven in our jurisdictions. In this framework, we reiterate our commitment to take concrete steps to ensure that financial markets are protected from criminal abuse, including bribery and corruption. We will fight vigorously against money laundering, including by investigating and prosecuting money laundering offences and by implementing the revised recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) consistent with domestic legislation.

We will work together and with international and regional development institutions to aggressively combat fraud, corruption, and the misuse of public resources. We will also support the efforts of respective member economies to build capacity to combat corruption by strengthening anti-corruption bodies, the rule of law, fiscal transparency and accountability; by reforming public procurement systems; by developing and promoting mechanisms that support effective return of recovered assets; and by encouraging the implementation of high standard codes of ethics.

We recognize the unparalleled value of the UNCAC as a universal mechanism against corruption and call upon the economies that have not yet ratified the UNCAC to do so at the earliest date possible. We encourage the APEC member economies, where appropriate, to take all necessary measures to fully implement the UNCAC’s provisions, consistent with the fundamental principles of their legal systems.

We note that while globalization and technological innovation have been a positive force for development and prosperity, illicit networks and counterfeiters have taken advantage of our increasingly interconnected world to expand their illicit enterprises and undermine the safety of our regulatory processes. We are committed to strengthening anti-corruption and/or other law enforcement agencies and enforcement efforts, as well as to expediting economy-to-economy cooperation in order to respond to emerging challenges.

We welcome the recent contributions of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the ACT in these important areas and in fighting corruption and illicit trade. We encourage additional efforts to ensure the safety of medicines. We remain committed to combat illicit trade; attack the financial underpinnings of transnational criminal organizations and illicit networks; strip criminal entrepreneurs and corrupt officials of their illicit wealth; and sever their access to the global financial system.

We recognize the important role of business and public-private partnerships in promoting the elaboration of codes of conduct in the private sector and measures to fight corruption, especially measures that support the promotion of ethical business practices in interactions between government, business and other stakeholders. We welcome efforts by our SME Ministers, industries and academics to promote voluntary, industry-specific APEC principles that aid in this effort.