Dr Mitsuru Taniuchi
Chair, APEC Economic Committee
"People throughout the APEC region will be substantially better off if APEC members continue to work towards free trade
in line with APEC targets," APEC Economic Committee Chair, Dr Mitsuru Taniuchi said today.
The Committee’s Report, "Assessing Trade Liberalisation and Facilitation - 1999 Update," estimates that regional income
would grow by US$75 billion, or 0.4 percent of the region's total GDP if APEC trade liberalisation and facilitation
measures committed to date are fully implemented. This justifies APEC’s continued focus on trade facilitation measures,
that is removing the red-tape barriers that clog up trade.
The addition of various dynamic effects (that is, downstream effects of trade liberalisation, such as pro-competitive
environment and promoting innovation) raises regional income by a further US$90-105 billion, or 0.5-0.6 per cent of
regional GDP. Furthermore, annual income gains could reach US$200 billion, or 1.2 percent of the region's GDP if tariffs
were completely eliminated.
"The report shows that all APEC economies gain from trade liberalisation and facilitation including those worst affected
by the economic crisis," Dr Taniuchi said.