Washington, D.C. (June 3, 2010) – The White House Office of the Press Secretary announced last week that the 18th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ meeting will be held in Honolulu on November 12-13, 2011.
President Barack Obama stated that he looks forward to welcoming his fellow APEC (www.apec.org) economy leaders to the state where he was born and to showcasing Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage and hospitality. Hawai’i was designated the 2011 meeting location last year when President Obama was at the Leaders’ Meeting in Singapore. The statement added that the United States is a Pacific nation whose economic ties to the Asia-Pacific region are strong, enduring, and critical to the prosperity of the American people.
The Press Secretary added that the United States will use the opportunity of chairing APEC in 2011 to highlight the vast potential the Asia-Pacific region holds for American companies and workers, to help shape the future of Asia-Pacific’s regional architecture, and to promote APEC’s core mission of spurring mutually beneficial regional economic integration.”
The 17th APEC summit was held in Singapore in November 2009. At the time APEC members accounted for 53 percent of global GDP, purchase 58 percent of U.S. goods exports, and represent a market of 2.7 billion consumers. In 2008, U.S. goods exports to the Asia-Pacific totaled $747 billion, an increase of 8.3 percent over 2007. During that same period, U.S. services exports to the region totaled $186.5 billion, up 7.7 percent.
Key outcomes of the Singapore summit focused on balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth; regional economic integration; facilitating trade; supporting the multilateral trading system; climate change; low carbon and green growth; food security, food safety, and secure trade.
APEC leaders endorsed the Pittsburgh G20 principles and pledged to make growth more inclusive through APEC initiatives that will support development of small and medium enterprises, facilitate worker retraining, and enhance economic opportunity for women.
The APEC leaders approved a U.S.-Australia initiative to promote cross-border services trade in the region. The move came as strong export growth to the Asia-Pacific had grown while the U.S. share of total trade in the region declined by three percent in five years.
To improve U.S. competitiveness in this vital part of the world, Obama announced to APEC leaders that the Administration in close consultation with the U.S. Congress and stakeholders would engage with current and potential future members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement to shape a broad-based, comprehensive, and high-standard platform to successfully integrate the economies of the Asia-Pacific.
APEC leaders took steps to facilitate increased trade in the region by simplifying complicated customs procedures and documentation resulting from the region’s numerous trade agreements, improving the region’s enforcement of intellectual property rights, and speeding the movement of goods across and within borders. They also announced an action plan designed to make it 25 percent cheaper, easier, and faster to conduct business in the region by 2015 by decreasing costs and streamlining processes associated with starting and operating a business in APEC economies.
Obama encouraged APEC to complete an ambitious and balanced Doha agreement in Hawai’i, and to reaffirm a commitment to refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services. The 2010 Meeting will also be a follow-up on energy efficiency policies with plans to improve regional trade in environmental goods and services.
APEC Leaders will also follow up on program planning to improve agricultural productivity to enhance agricultural markets in region – following U.S.-led initiatives to bring together public and private sector experts to promote international best practices on improving food and product safety and to combat trade in counterfeit medical products
APEC also works in the areas of trade and aviation security, counter-terrorism financing, and emergency and disaster preparedness.