For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 21, 2001
U.S. Accomplishments APEC Leaders' Meeting
President Bush challenged the other APEC Leaders to seize the opportunity in the wake of the terrible events of September 11 to unite in our common fight against terrorism and to reinvigorate efforts to realize APEC's vision of free, open, and prosperous economies.
To achieve these ends, President Bush and the other APEC Leaders agreed to action in three key areas: pledging cooperation on counterterrorism, responding to the global economic slowdown by reinvigorating trade, and building capacity to support sustained growth.
Advancing Cooperation on Counterterrorism
-- Counterterrorism: President Bush has called for all states to join a sustained worldwide coalition to defeat global terrorism. APEC Leaders responded with a statement condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in the United States as a "profound threat to the peace, prosperity, and security of all people, of all faiths, of all nations." The statement -- a significant show of unity by economies representing 60 percent of world GDP and one quarter of the world's Muslim population -- commits APEC members to implement relevant UN conventions and resolutions, including those aimed at cutting off financing for terrorist groups, such as al-Qaida. The APEC Leaders also committed to specific steps to stop the flow of funds to terrorists, ensure aviation and maritime security, strengthen energy security, and enhance border security and customs enforcement.
Responding to the Global Slowdown though Increased Trade
-- New Trade Round: President Bush believes that one of the most important things we can do to reignite global growth is to expand world trade. Thus he and the other APEC Leaders pledged to strongly support the launch of a new round of global trade negotiations in November.
-- Shanghai Accord: The U.S. proposed the Shanghai Accord to focus APEC's work in its second decade on implementing APEC's vision of free trade and investment. The Shanghai Accord calls for a cut in trade transaction costs by 5 percent over five years, more rigorous reviews of APEC members' trade liberalization plans, greater government transparency, trade policies to encourage development of the New Economy, and creation of "Pathfinder" initiatives allowing subgroups of APEC members to move ahead of others.
-- E-APEC Strategy: Under the joint leadership of the U.S., China and Australia, APEC has issued the e-APEC Strategy, a roadmap for achieving a digital society. It identifies concrete actions in three key areas for ensuring the growth of the New Economy: sound macroeconomic and structural policies, legal and regulatory regimes to spur innovation and investment, and education and training.
Building Capacity for Sustained Growth
-- Economic and Technical Cooperation: President Bush joined APEC Leaders in pledging to enhance economic and technical assistance (Ecotech) to support members' efforts to liberalize trade. The U.S. Ecotech Action Plan of "best practice' projects includes more than 65 ongoing and proposed projects from the public and private sectors, ranging from training customs officials through the Shanghai Model Port Project to supporting programs to improve teacher training. The U.S. also funds the APEC Ecotech Clearinghouse, a web-based compendium of Ecotech activities in APEC.
-- E-Learning: One of President Bush's priorities is using information and communications technology (ICT) to support teacher training and promote higher educational standards. In APEC, the U.S. is spearheading a number of such programs, including the APEC Cyber Education Cooperation project, which has developed a knowledge bank of best education practices, and the e-Language Learning Project to teach foreign languages over the Internet.
-- Promotion of Biotechnology: President Bush believes the world must utilize the enormous potential of biotechnology to end hunger. Biotechnology can help developing economies increase crop yields, while using fewer pesticides and less water than conventional methods. APEC Leaders agreed to endorse a U.S.-proposed high-level policy dialogue on biotechnology.
-- Infectious Diseases: President Bush has led the effort to raise the profile and urgency of cooperation on infectious diseases by being the first to pledge support for the global fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis that the G-8 launched at the Genoa Summit in July. APEC Leaders agreed to link existing disease surveillance networks to better track outbreaks and make prevention efforts more effective. The U.S. contributes nearly $1 billion annually to international efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
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