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INDONESIA 7-8 Oct 2013 APEC leaders meet in Nusa Dua, Bali
As host of the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at the beach resort of Bali, Indonesia will focus on increasing the pace of eco

October 7, 2013 - NULL

INDONESIA 7-8 Oct 2013 APEC leaders meet in Nusa Dua, Bali
As host of the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at the beach resort of Bali, Indonesia will focus on increasing the pace of economic integration across APEC member economies, but will have to grapple with distractions. These include preparations that have upset environmentalists and massive security worries at Bali, a resort as demonstrably attractive to terrorists as to tourists. The summit theme is "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth."

The number of negotiations for multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) that take place on the sidelines

INDONESIA 7-8 Oct 2013 APEC leaders meet in Nusa Dua, Bali
As host of the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at the beach resort of Bali, Indonesia will focus on increasing the pace of economic integration across APEC member economies, but will have to grapple with distractions. These include preparations that have upset environmentalists and massive security worries at Bali, a resort as demonstrably attractive to terrorists as to tourists. The summit theme is "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth."

The number of negotiations for multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) that take place on the sidelines of the summit suggests APEC's greatest use to its members is as an arena for negotiating side deals. The circumstance invites a look at the side deals to determine which complement APEC's goal of integration across the region and which deals could hinder it.

Explaining the theme, the organization notes that APEC economies account for 54 per cent of global gross domestic product and 44 per cent of global trade. Within the region, trade has grown nearly seven-fold, from US$1.7 trillion in 1989 to $11.3 trillion dollars in 2011. APEC reports progress toward its overall goal, citing as examples the easing of both trade transaction costs and average tariff rates across member economies. APEC bemoans the tide of protectionism in member economies as a result of the global economic downturn.

One distraction is local environmentalists' outrage at the government's initial plans for the summit. They included an expansion of Ngurah Rai International Airport, a state-of-the-art convention and exhibition center, luxurious villas for leaders, and five-star hotels for the delegates at the new high security Bali International Park. Parts of the plan were cancelled after environmentalist protests. According to Bali Discover, the activities will be held instead at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center and the Westin Resort's Bali International Convention Center. Local environmental organizations face significant challenges. The Australian newspaper on Sep 2012 described Bali as "Paradise lost," adding that APEC will "showcase an island where environmental and pollution woes have spun out of control."

The government of member country Australia provides a succinct note on the security problem: "We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the high threat of terrorist attack." Two-hundred-and-two people, including 88 Australians and 26 Britons, were killed on 12 Oct 2002, when the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group launched a suicide and car bomb attack on two Bali nightspots packed with tourists. Credible terrorist threats against Western tourists continue to arrive. The Bali Police began intensive joint exercises, involving counter-terrorism teams and crisis rescue teams in Jan 2013.

The 21 APEC member economies are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam. (WRITTEN FEB 2013)

KEYWORDS: 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, 25TH APEC summit, 2013 APEC summit, 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, APEC, APEC leaders, Bali, Indonesia, Asia, Bogor Goals, free trade, trade deals, trade negotiations, October 2013, APEC economies, Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP

RELATED READING:

APEC Summit in Bali Would Widen Indonesia's Budget Deficit (Jakarta Globe29 Sep 2012)
http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/apec-summit-in-bali-would-widen-indonesias-budget-deficit/547166#Scene_1

Bali Environmentalists Prepare for Battle (Bali Discovery 20 Sep 2012)
http://www.balidiscovery.com/messages/message.asp?Id=8605

Walhi call for APEC boycott (Jakarta Post 17 Sep 2012)
http://www.thejakartapost.com/bali-daily/2012-09-17/walhi-call-apec-boycott.html

Paradise lost as once beautiful Bali buckles under forklifts and fallacies (Australian 29 Sep 2012)
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/paradise-lost-as-once-beautiful-bali-buckles-under-forklifts-and-fallacies/story-e6frg6z6-1226483633044

Smart traveler (Australian Gov.)
http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Indonesia

Bali Police prepare for APEC security (Jakarta Post)
http://www.thejakartapost.com/bali-daily/2013-02-05/bali-police-prepare-apec-security.html

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Date written/update: 2013-10-07