(submitted by Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand)
Noting the development of interdependence and the deepening of globalization in the international community;
Recognising: (I) the benefits of open trade and Noting the growth in regional trade arrangements and free trade arrangements across Asia Pacific region and; (II) the importance of an open, rules-based multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the forum for global rule-making and liberalisation of trade, and of the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the WTO Doha Development Agenda.
Noting the current trends towards economic integration in various regions of the world, including the Asia-Pacific region;
Reaffirming the important role which the WTO plays in promoting and strengthening the multilateral trading system and affirming the importance of the technical assistance as a necessary element to ensure integration of all members into the multilateral trading system;
Recalling that, in the Leaders' Declaration of APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting held in October 2002, the APEC leaders renewed their determination to continue and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Bogor Goals as a principal element to deliver the ultimate goal of establishing "equitable and shared prosperity", and Noting that APEC leaders called for promoting exchange of views on regional and bilateral trade agreements and that they adopted " Statement to Implement APEC policies on Trade and the Digital Economy "; and
Noting that there is a growing importance for the regional effort and cooperation to complement the existing international regime for the purpose of stabilizing the currency and money market under the situation where the economic interdependence is deepening in the Asian and Pacific Region;
1. Affirm the significant contribution the successful and timely conclusion of negotiations on the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) will make to economic development in the Asia Pacific region, particularly market access outcomes;
2. Urge all Asia-Pacific economies to participate actively in the negotiations, including putting forward negotiating proposals and cooperating to promote the benefits of the WTO and the Doha Development Agenda;
3. Affirm the commitment of Asia-Pacific economies to work together to meet the timeframes set out in the Doha Development Agenda, particularly the successful conclusion of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico in September 2003 and the conclusion of the Round by 1 January 2005.
4. Support the timely accession of APPF members to the WTO and encourage APPF countries to form trade policies that promote a networked world and cooperate for liberalizing the trading environment with effective trade rules for the Digital Economy in order to realize economic growth by promoting trade in products and services using electronic networks;
5. Call upon all countries and regions to develop existing and emerging regional trade agreements as means to complement and strengthen the multilateral trading system centered around the WTO, in such a way that will be transparent and beneficial to the entire world;
6. Welcome the moves toward economic integration, such as FTA negotiations, as a positive contribution to the prosperity of the entire region, and urge that economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region be deepened consistent with WTO principles reconfirming the special and differential needs of developing countries.
7. Call upon the relevant countries to facilitate trade and investment by improving trade rules related to intellectual property rights and investment in these regional trade agreements.
8. Ensure that regional and bilateral trading arrangements negotiated and concluded by APPF members are comprehensive consistent with WTO rules and disciplines and APEC goals and principles and promote an open, transparent and liberalized multilateral trading system.