The 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting
7-8 October 2013
“Supporting the Multilateral Trading System and the 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization”
- We, the Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), gathered in Bali, Indonesia, on 7-8 October 2013 for the 21st APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting under the APEC 2013 theme “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth”, reaffirm our commitment to the strengthening of the multilateral trading system and to the successful outcomes of the 9th Ministerial Conference (MC9) of the WTO in Bali.
- We recognize the importance of a strong multilateral trading system in safeguarding trade expansion that serves as a source of economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development. We remain committed in this regard to continue to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive multilateral trading system as enshrined in the principles and values of the WTO.
- We are committed to fight against protectionist measures for their impact on weakening trade and slowing down the global economic recovery. We extend our standstill commitment until the end of 2016 and reaffirm our commitment to roll back protectionist and trade-distorting measures. We are also determined to resist inward looking policies and continue to exercise maximum restraint in implementing measures that may further hinder world economic recovery and expansion of international trade. With these commitments we stress the importance of further curbing protectionism through the WTO and other international organizations.
- We recognize that Doha is at an impasse. We are now at the eleventh hour to put the negotiating function of the WTO back on track. Thus, the next step we take will be critical to the multilateral trading system and the role of the WTO.
- We acknowledge the urgency to achieve successful outcomes at MC9 which would be a stepping stone to future progress in the DDA negotiations post-Bali and further multilateral trade liberalization. We reaffirm our commitment to build on the Bali package to achieve the full conclusion of the DDA and to continue the negotiations to address the remaining DDA issues post-Bali. In doing so, we will continue to respect the Doha mandate and its development dimension.
- We envision that the Bali outcomes will encompass an agreement on trade facilitation, some elements of agriculture, and development, including issues of interest to LDCs. Progress in the negotiations of these issues are of utmost importance and we instruct negotiators to re-double their efforts to complete negotiations on this package before the commencement of MC9.
- We strongly encourage all WTO Members, particularly major players, to show their political will and necessary flexibilities in order to bridge existing gaps and deliver positive and balanced results at MC9. With the APEC economies representing more than half of world’s GDP and 44% of world trade, we accept our responsibility and stand ready to make significant contribution in ensuring tangible outcomes by delivering an early harvest at MC9.
- We encourage the swift conclusion of negotiations to expand product coverage of the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA) before MC9, and also seek expanded membership of the ITA. A final ITA expansion outcome should be commercially significant, credible, pragmatic, balanced, and reflective of the dynamic technological developments in the information technology sector over the last 16 years. Such an outcome would strengthen the multilateral trading system, promote connectivity, support regional economic integration, and drive economic development throughout APEC economies and beyond.
- We reassert our commitment to promote green growth and to seek practical, development-supportive, and trade-enhancing solutions to address global environmental challenges. Accordingly, we commit to explore opportunities in the WTO to build on the ground-breaking APEC commitment to reduce tariffs on the APEC List of Environmental Goods by the end of 2015.
- We reaffirm the importance of the effective integration of developing economies into the multilateral trading system and to equally benefit from global trade. In this regard, we welcome the output of the 4th Aid for Trade Global Review Meeting held in July 2013 and we will continue to seek means of ensuring the effectiveness of this initiative.
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