By Alex P. Vidal
“The only summit meeting that can succeed is the one that does not take place.”—Barry Goldwater
A REPORT by the US Department of State stated that the convening of APEC Economic Leaders in San Francisco November 16-17 capped off a successful APEC host year for the United States, advancing its theme of “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All.”
In addition to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by President Jose Biden, APEC Economic Leaders’ Week included: the Finance Ministers’ Meeting, chaired by Treasury Secretary Yellen, November 12-13, and the APEC Ministerial Meeting co-chaired by Secretary Anthony Blinken and U.S.
The 21 APEC member economies are home to 3 billion people – nearly 40 percent of the world’s population – and represent almost half of global trade and more than 60 percent of the world’s GDP, according to the US Department of State.
As of 2022, fellow APEC members were the destination for more than 60 percent of U.S. goods exports, and seven of the top 10 overall trading partners for the United States are APEC members.
The US took full advantage of the 2023 APEC host year to deepen their economic ties with key regional partners and advance a more innovative, interconnected, and inclusive economic agenda for the region.
According to the Department of State, private sector partners across all APEC economies play a critical role in APEC’s goal of driving sustainable, inclusive, and dynamic economic growth throughout the region.
“APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, which convened nearly 3,000 senior government officials and global business leaders, featured extensive and substantial public-private collaboration, as a part of the APEC CEO Summit as well as the inaugural APEC Sustainable Future Forum and the APEC Business Advisory Council’s Annual Dialogue with Leaders.”
During APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and the APEC CEO Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration announced significant private sector investments and contributions from both the United States and across the region.
Added the Department of State: “Trade Representative Ambassador Tai, November 14-15. It also included the APEC CEO Summit, which convened CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and political leaders for discussions on global opportunities and challenges that are shaping economic, environmental, and societal trends in the region, as well as the APEC Business Advisory Council Annual Dialogue with Leaders, chaired by Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Throughout our 2023 APEC host year, the United States worked with APEC economies to support sustainability through a focus on a just energy transition, build a Digital Pacific by advancing digital skills and connectivity, and promote resilience and inclusion by meeting the moment on trade and investment, gender equity, food security, anti-corruption, supply chains, and support for Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
“President Biden, as APEC Chair, has advanced a dynamic economic agenda, in line with the United States’ host year priorities of building a more interconnected, innovative, and inclusive APEC region.
Under President Biden, the United States will continue leading the global economy to drive inclusive economic growth which benefits American workers, families, and businesses, and delivers prosperity across the Asia-Pacific.
“Leaders endorsed the Golden Gate Declaration, a consensus declaration to advance efforts to achieve APEC economies’ ambitious sustainability and inclusion objectives.
The Declaration was issued alongside a companion Chair’s Statement, which reflects the Leaders’ discussion on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and other geopolitical issues.
“Secretary Blinken and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Tai joined their counterparts in issuing a consensus joint ministerial statement. The Statement was similarly issued alongside a companion Chair’s Statement.
Treasury Secretary Yellen also hosted ministers from November 12-13 for the 2023 Finance Minsters’ Meeting.
“We look forward to continuing to advance many of these priorities when Peru hosts APEC in 2024,” announced the U.S. Department of State.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)