PHILIPPINES: ASIA-PACIFIC LEADERS ENDORSE PLANS FOR THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FREE TRADE ZONE AT THE APEC FORUM
- Title: PHILIPPINES: ASIA-PACIFIC LEADERS ENDORSE PLANS FOR THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FREE TRADE ZONE AT THE APEC FORUM
- Date: 24th November 1996
- Summary: SUBIC BAY, GUA GUA, OLONGAPO AND MANILA, PHILIPPINES (NOVEMBER 24+25, 1996) (RTV/POOL - ACCESS ALL) SUBIC BAY (NOVEMBER 25, 1996) (POOL - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS LOOKING OVER SUBIC BAY WAITING TO GREET LEADERS 0.05 2. LV PHOTOGRAPHERS AND CAMERA CREWS WAITING FOR LEADERS 0.08 3. SLV U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON GETS OUT OF CAR AND IS GREETED BY RAMOS 0.33 4. SLV CHINESE PRESIDENT JIANG ZEMIN WALKING FROM CAR, BEING GREETED BY RAMOS. 0.54 5. SLV PHOTOGRAPHERS 0.56 6. MV RAMOS ADJUSTING JIANG'S COLLAR 1.08 7. SLV JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER RYUTARO HASHIMOTO ARRIVING AND SHAKING HANDS WITH RAMOS 1.26 8. LV WIDE OF APEC LEADERS WALKING IN GARDENS 1.30 9. TRACK LEADERS GATHERED FOR PHOTO CALL 1.42 10. LV LEADERS TRYING TO DO MEXICAN WAVE 1.58 11. SLV EXTERIOR OF BUILDING WHERE MEETING IS BEING HELD 2.01 (MUTE) 12. LV RAMOS DISTRIBUTING GOLF BALLS AS MEMENTOS OF MEETING 2.16 13. MV U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON AND OTHER LEADERS IN MEETING 2.22 14. MV SULTAN OF BRUNEI 2.24 15. MV RAMOS 2.31 16. LV WIDE OF LEADERS 2.44 (NATURAL) 17. TV WIDE OF LEADERS PREPARING FOR DECLARATION 2.55 18. MV RAMOS SAYING, "WE CAME TO SUBIC TO STRENGTHEN THIS COMMITMENT AND TO REAFFIRM THAT THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF OUR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE ENDEAVOURS IS TO ENRICH THE LIVES AND IMPROVE THE STANDARDS OF LIVING OF ALL OF OUR CITIZENS ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS" (ENGLISH) 3.10 19. LV LEADERS LISTENING 3.18 GUA GUA (NOVEMBER 24, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 20. MV VARIOUS OF ANTI-APEC DEMO 3.48 OLONGAPO (NOVEMBER 25, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 21. TV LOCALS AND POLICE AT ROAD BLOCK 3.52 22. MV LOCAL CITIZENS CHECKPOINT, CHECKING DOCUMENTS 4.06 23. MV POLICE PATROLLING 4.09 24. MV PRO APEC RALLY, WITH VARIOUS PLACARDS SUPPORTING APEC 4.18 MANILA (NOVEMBER 25, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 25. LV WIDE OF PROTEST IN MANILA 4.25 26. CU BANNER "FIGHT U.S. IMPERIALISM" 4.27 27. CU EFFIGIES OF PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT FIDEL RAMOS AND UNCLE SAM 4.34 28. LV WIDE OF PROTEST 4.38 MEETINGS DEMONSTRATIONS POLICE Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA7TZ1QOA18PLZ1GGV01GLQ6KXP
- Location: SUBIC BAY, GUA GUA, OLONGAPO AND MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Phillippines
- Duration: 00:04:38
- Story Text: INTRO: - Asia-Pacific leaders have endorsed plans for the world's biggest free trade zone, starting with a call to free global commerce in information technology products.
The leaders glossed over their differences on Monday (November 25) to issue a joint pledge to press for a global accord on free trade in information technology products through the World Trade Organisation.
They also promised to take concrete steps to meet the leaders' goal of setting up the world's biggest free trade zone by 2020.
The promises came in a joint statement read out by Philippine President Fidel Ramos at the end of a six-hour summit of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum at Subic Bay north of Manila.
Ramos, flanked by U.S. President Bill Clinton, China's Jiang Zemin, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and leaders of APEC's 15 other members standing in a line, read the statement from a podium on a lawn outside the former U.S. military officers' club where the leaders met.
The leaders also said that they had: -- Launched the implementation phase of APEC's free and open trade and investment agenda -- Delivered business facilitation measures -- Agreed to advance common goals in the World Trade Organisation -- Developed ways to strengthen economic and technical cooperation and -- Engaged the business sector as a full partner in the APEC process.
They endorsed the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) approved by their cabinet ministers after two days of meetings that ended on Saturday.
The leaders acknowledged the diversity of a grouping that includes industrialised giants like the United States and Japan as well as relatively undeveloped nations like Papua New Guinea and stressed the importance of developing a sense of community.
President Ramos said the leaders had strengthened their commitment to APEC and reaffirmed "the ultimate objective or our individual and collective endeavours to enrich the lives and improve the standards of living of all of our citizens on a sustainable basis." Their declaration ended with an emphatic counter to critics' arguments that APEC is nothing but a giant annual photo opportunity.
Dressed in Filipino Barong shirts, leaders agreed on basic details to create a free trade and investment zone with no customs posts, visas or red tape to block the flow of goods, services and business travellers.
Not all the leaders agreed on how to do it. The United States wants to fling all markets open in a trade free-for-all.
Some of the heads of developing Asian countries, such as Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad, want to move ahead more gingerly and are chafing at the pressure.
As well as freeing trade and investment flows, APEC aims to promote technical cooperation in areas like transport, energy, telecommunications and infrastructure development. It also intends to make life easier for businessmen by streamlining regulations on customs, standards and testing.
Meanwhile thousands of leftists on Monday retreated from a confrontation with riot police and called off a planned protest cavalcade to the APEC summit venue at Subic Bay, saying it would be "suicide".
At least five people were injured on Monday in a clash between supporters and foes of APEC near Subic Bay.
Police had blocked the highway leading to the venue with cargo trucks and fire engines and a police chief said his men were determined to stop the convoy.
Security around the conference venue in Subic Bay remained tight on Monday because of fears of possible attacks by leftist groups.
Opponents of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum say developing countries are not ready for the rigours of free trade that APEC advocates and fear rising unemployment.
At Monday's protest in Manila protesters carried effigies of Uncle Sam and Philippines President Fidel Ramos. More than 400 students gathered for a planned march on the U.S. Embassy, but were prevented from advancing by a heavy police presence.
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