Friday, August 24, 2007

APEC – Another talk show

Another international talk show, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum is about to start in Sydney. The developed countries of the world such as USA want to continue their economic hegemony at any cost. APEC is a brainchild of Australia, which’s Prime Minister, Johan Howard prides to be the “Deputy Sheriff” of the USA in Asia and Pacific.

APEC wants to liberalise trade and investment. Meanwhile, APEC members such as USA and Japan are spending billions of dollars on agricultural subsidies. Members of this forum have no commitment with its goal of trade liberalisation. Any one with sound mind can also understand that this task is too big for this incoherent forum. “APEC's vision of regional economic cooperation is being realised through the 'Bogor Goals' of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies, adopted by APEC Leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia” according to APEC's official website.

This forum consists of countries such as China, USA, Vietnam, Australia and Papua New Guinea. These countries have very little in common. Former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating was one of the strongest supporters of APEC during his prim ministership. Keating says, “the most dangerous part of the world is not the Middle East, though of course that is dangerous, nor even those always-simmering tensions between India and Pakistan. In my opinion the most seriously dangerous part of the world is North Asia; within that triangle of unresolved tensions: between China and Japan and the Korean peninsula.”

On the other hand, USA - one of the most important members of APEC, is trying to build a strategic alliance against China with the help of Australia, Japan and India. This will exaggerate existing tensions among the members of APEC.

It is obvious that APEC is another talk show, which is going to waste millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money without achieving any substantial result. Developed countries are unwilling to take major steps to liberalise trade and investment. If developed countries are serious in liberalising trade then the first step is to stop spending billions of dollars on agricultural subsidies.


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