MEXICO CITY, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Reducing non-tariff measures (NTMs) and rejecting protectionism will map the course on finance and trade for member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), according to a Mexican expert in international relations.
Ignacio Cortes, coordinator of the Laboratory for Trade, Economics and Business Analysis at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), spoke with Xinhua in the lead up to the APEC Leaders' meeting, to be held Nov.19-20 in Peru's capital Lima.
"There is still a long way to go in the process of synchronizing APEC's member economies," said Cortes, adding the goal "demands each member redouble its efforts" towards the common cause.
Still the upcoming summit will be key for a variety of reasons, including timing.
"APEC has an enormous agenda, and while it meets regularly, November's meeting will be particularly special, as it precedes a gathering of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF)," said Cortes.
The meeting will also "most likely ... mark a turning point for injecting a new dynamic into the world economy through political agreements, and that's where China will play a prominent role," he added.
Previously, APEC leaders agreed that all free-trade agreements signed by the bloc or its member economies must be adapted to WTO principles, and must maintain transparency to ensure any adjustments are made across the board.
With the global economy still dragging its feet, and far from achieving 3.5 percent to 4 percent growth, countries will be looking to implement new measures, especially in the key APEC region.
In Lima, members will be debating regulatory reforms, a legal framework that can promote competitivity in diverse sectors and policies to promote the private sector, especially areas where competition is limited, including telecommunications.
"APEC will focus on how to regulate services in such sectors as telecommunications, transportation, financial services and educational services. The goal is to ensure these sectors become much more solid and make more progress, while at the same time being well regulated," said Cortes.
APEC, he believes, needs to promote value chains, mainly in the automobile, electronics and garment sectors.
"That's where the companies are going to pressure decision makers to refrain from implementing barriers that hinder exchange, and that's where we are going to see large companies that don't want any disruptions in the exchange of production play a role," said Cortes.
Another important issue at the APEC meeting will be the increasing role that the world's globalized micro, small and medium-size companies are playing in the global supply chain.
"I believe they can strengthen their role as new engines of the economy, if favorable conditions are created for them," said Cortes.
As an APEC member, Mexico may strive to reduce NTMs and avoid protectionist measures, but it should at the same time "improve and increase opportunities for trade exchange, foreign investment, and economic and technical cooperation," said Cortes.