MARKET ACCESS GROUP CONVENOR’S SUMMARY REPORT TO CTI
1. PROPOSED WORK PLAN FOR 2003 IN RESPONSE TO LEADERS/MINISTERS/SOME DECISIONS ON:
(A) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE APEC TRADE FACILITATION ACTION PLAN;
(B) IMPLEMENTATION OF APEC TRANSPARENCY STANDARDS;
(C) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE APPROVED PATHFINDER INITIATIVES, WHERE APPROPRIATE; AND
(D)OTHER AREAS, INCLUDING ABAC RECOMMENDATIONS.
Members of the APEC Market Access Group (MAG) agreed that the Group could best make a continuing contribution to APEC efforts in trade facilitation through confidence building projects and dialogue.
Members recognized the value of continuing and building-on earlier MAG sponsored reports which brought together case studies from member economiesthat highlight achievements in trade facilitation, including quantifiable evidence of benefits gained. Details of the structure, format and coverage of a new report on trade facilitation will be developed and put to the Group for consideration, but will remain based on case studies provided by members and might include a section on small business. Such a report will be a useful tool for confidencebuilding and outreach, highlighting to the wider APEC community of APEC efforts to improve the trading environment in the region.
While the MAG already operates with transparency as a primary objective, the Group will be drafting transparency provisions in line with Leaders’ Statement to Implement APEC Transparency Standards made in Los Cabos, Mexico, in October 2002. In drafting theprovisions, MAG will consider provisions already in place in other APEC subfora/working groups. The MAG website is continually being improved with more and better information being posted on the site, as well as expanding its relevant links.
As a significant contribution to Ministerial and Leaders instructions “for an exchange of views in APEC on regional and bilateral trade agreements”, 13 members ofthe MAG delivered brief presentations which provided background on policies and activities on RTAs/FTAs. These presentations will be compiled with possibly a covering editorial note which sets the scene for the papers and highlighting commonalities and cross-cutting views. The consolidated report will be posted on the MAG website. This initiative should feed into the Trade Policy Dialogue onRTAs/FTAs scheduled for SOM II. Also, Members highlighted the usefulness of a RTAs/FTAs matrix, encouraging Canada to continue its project on the matrix.
2. ANTICIPATED ACTIVITIES AND/OR PROPOSED WORK PLAN WITH OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS IN RESPONSE TO MINISTERS’ CALL FOR GREATER ENGAGEMENT WITH
(A) BUSINESS SECTOR; AND
(B) OTHER ORGANISATIONS/STAKEHOLDERS.
MAG members reiteratedthe need for initiatives to involve as much as possible the private sector, other APEC subfora/working groups and other international organizations, and to take account of their concerns, interests and efforts on market access issues.
Members are working to ensure that the provision of tariff and trade data and information on the WTO IDB, APEC TDB and MAG website are current and user-friendly.In consultation with the APEC Secretariat, a strategy will be developed to establish a process by which the MAG can work with FedEx to improve the APEC TDB. A small group within the MAG, led by New Zealand, will be looking at the redesigning the MAG website, including making changes to both the form and content of the website. Also, further efforts will be undertaken to improve the profile orpublic awareness of the APEC TDB and MAG website. MAG will work closely with the APEC Secretariat in these promotion efforts.
MAG will seek to hold a trade policy dialogue on market access issues of concern to SMEs. Chile (with assistance from the MAG convenor) will be leading the design and development of this initiative. This TPD is planned for MAG III and would involve representatives from...