Mercury with an Asian face

It should be emphasized that the Bogor Declaration is not binding for the Member States and APEC is more of a general policy document, as well as all previous activities APEC. To achieve the political goal is the summit in Bogor in November 1994 for the first time away from the fundamental principle of consensus in decision-making and used the principle of "flexible or broad, consensus," allows you to join the Declaration at any time.

The move - a reflection of the real state of the relationship partners APEC, especially the relationship between the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and East Asian participants in the conference. It should be noted that Asian partners from the very beginning implicitly challenged the claims of Western countries led by the United States for economic leadership in APEC and almost did not support the U.S. attempt to "open the closed Japanese market." In contrast, Japan was estimated Asian APEC members as the ideal model of economic development.

A similar phenomenon - not just a product of the cultural relationship of East Asian countries, and the similarity of their approaches to economic development, according to which the basis of the development are primarily investment and production, imports and foreign investments should be controlled character.

New motor ASEAN

The Asian crisis of 1997, when foreign investors have found it best to quickly end its participation in the Asian economies, dramatically changed the priorities of East Asian countries.

Against the background of Western investors panic and "destructive" of the international financial institutions came to the fore in China, which during the crisis was made anchor of stability for East Asian economies to cope with the enormous pressure exerted on him to devalue the yuan. Annual GDP growth of 7.3% that had become typical for the Chinese economy, China has made a "star" is not only a regional but also a global economy.

In these circumstances it is not surprising that the Malaysian project regional bloc got a second wind, actually moved in the direction of projects ARES (by the way, more like wishful thinking), and quickly rose to the practical track. ASEAN countries have decided to create together the Free Trade Area (AFTA). At the first stage it included the country's original six members of ASEAN (the effective application of the General Preferential Tariff under AFTA to the new Association members - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam - will be on a contractual basis).

Agreement on the ASEAN Free Trade Area came into force on 1 January 2002. According to the document, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have agreed to reduce tariffs on 85% of the product mix (more than 38.4 thousand lines of tariff nomenclature) to the level of 0-5%. The only exceptions are 60 items - mostly agricultural products - for which the deadline will come in 2010, in 2015 will all be completed the same measures to reduce tariffs and for the four newcomers ASEAN.