"The United States is proud to serve as host of this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said recently at the APEC Ministerial Kickoff in Honolulu, Hawaii. "Global trends and world events have given us a full and formidable agenda. ... We are each trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social, and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region."
"To accomplish these goals, we have to create a rules-based system that is open, free, transparent, and fair," Secretary Clinton said. "Working to make that system a reality has been the focus of all of our meetings this year, in Washington; in Big Sky, Montana; in San Francisco; and now here in Hawaii."
The countries in the Asia-Pacific region have made tangible progress in three areas. First is on integrating markets and expanding trade. "We have focused on what we call next-generation issues – for example, by working to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses reach new customers beyond their borders."
Second is on promoting green growth. "We have advanced a trade initiative for environmental goods and services which will help spur industries investing in green growth," Secretary Clinton said. "We’ve worked to reduce inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which will help protect the environment by reducing the wasteful consumption of fossil fuels. And we are renewing our commitment to reduce our energy intensity by at least 45 percent by 2035."
Third is to advance further in regulatory cooperation and convergence. "We have seen how improvements in this area can unleash billions of dollars in commercial activities," Secretary Clinton said. "For example, when a majority of APEC countries adopted a uniform safety standard for televisions in 2005, exports for the region increased by 45 percent over the subsequent three years."
"I am well aware that we all have differences in our individual approaches to economic policymaking, but I also know that we share the belief that markets, trade, and investment are vital to our prosperity,"
Secretary Clinton concluded. "I look forward to hearing from everyone about ways we can continue to build an enduring regional economic architecture that is open, free, transparent, and fair."