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Resolution on Economy and Trade
(Japan, New Zealand, and the United States)


THE TWELFTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM (APPF):

Observing the ever-growing complexity and depth of trading relationships around the globe and the importance of those relationships toward applying the power of the market to the needs of the poor and to spur the process of economic and legal reforms;

Noting the role of the WTO to foster and govern the growth of global trade within the framework agreed to by its members;

Acknowledging that the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) marked a new era in the partnership of WTO members: a recognition of the link between trade and development;

Reaffirming commitments made at Doha that increased trade liberalization through negotiations in the WTO to expand trade rules and increase market access must be coupled with strengthening the capacity building is essential to integrate developing countries into the global trading system and to allow international trade to better foster economic growth and poverty reduction;

Regarding the outcome of the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Cancún in September 2003 as an unfortunate, but temporary setback for the multilateral trading system and noting the various measures agreed upon to advance the DDA and the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment as well as their supporting conditions in the Leaders’ Declaration issued by the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in October 2003, and the Resolution on Trade Agreements and the WTO adopted at the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the APPF in January 2003;

Noting that regional effort and cooperation are steadily growing as a complement to the existing international regime for the purpose of achieving stability in the currency and money market based on market principles as economic interdependence deepens in the Asia-Pacific region; and

Recognizing that the WTO framework must be updated to reflect new challenges in a changing world, and to be able to respond to those new challenges;

RESOLVES TO:

  1. Provide strong support for an open, equitable, and rules based multilateral trading system, which is essential to sustain global economic growth. In this regard, employ a strong commitment to promote the DDA, clarify and improve trade disciplines, and call upon APPF countries to make progress in substantive negotiations on all areas of the DDA;
  2. Entreat APPF countries to undertake trade capacity building activities to improve prosperity and reduce global poverty;
  3. Improve the WTO so that the global community may better respond to, and address problems arising from global commerce in a digital age;
  4. Strive to improve the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding and its procedures;
  5. Encourage a continuation of transparent, parallel bilateral and regional trade agreements in a comprehensive manner as a means to complement and strengthen the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO;
  6. Welcome moves by APPF countries toward increased economic integration, reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers, increased transparency and the elimination of other barriers to trade as positive to the entire Asia-Pacific region; and
  7. Wish for the Asia-Pacific region to develop into a region that is advanced in terms of trade and investment through the facilitation of such activities by improving trade rules related to intellectual property rights and investment in regional trade agreements.