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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

SEPTEMBER 24, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 38

The Rest of the Meeting
Though East Timor and the U.S.-China summit drew the most attention at the APEC conference, ministers and leaders still waded through a full economic agenda. Here is a summary of how that agenda progressed:

    ALSO IN ASIAWEEK
Diary of a Prime Minister
Keeping up with Thailand's Chuan Leekpai

Days of Diplomacy
The East Timor crisis showed APEC's worth -- and also its limits

The Rest of the Meeting
A summary of how the agenda progressed

FEATURES
APEC '99
Asiaweek Senior Correspondent Alejandro Reyes' dispatches from the Auckland conference

RECOVERY: While recognizing that Asian economies are rebounding, "we are not complacent about the risks that might impede recovery and sustainable growth and we will sustain the momentum for reform," the leaders' declaration said. As part of their efforts to bolster the region's financial sector, the delegates launched an initiative to develop a set of common banking standards.

TRADE AND INVESTMENT: Participants restated their commitment to APEC's goal of free trade and investment by 2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing ones. They agreed that each member should make individual blueprints for market opening "more specific, transparent and comprehensive." Leaders agreed to boost air-services liberalization.

SEATTLE-BOUND: Leaders committed to a new round of multilateral trade negotiations, which is expected to be launched at the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference in Seattle in late November. Though APEC supported comprehensive talks to complete a single package of agreements within three years, it did not preclude an "early harvest" of commitments, which the U.S. preferred. Leaders supported the abolition of export subsidies for agricultural products.

NEW GROUPS: A number of APEC members announced that they would negotiate separate bilateral free-trade agreements. Singapore said it was launching talks with Chile, Mexico, and New Zealand, while South Korea was discussing pacts with Chile and Thailand. There was even talk of a Wellington-proposed "Pacific Five" grouping that would include Australia, Chile, the U.S., Singapore and New Zealand. The aim is for these sub-groups to spur APEC to speed up liberalization.

MEMBERSHIP: Leaders supported the accession to WTO membership of APEC economies that are not yet part of the global trade group (Russia, China, Taiwan and Vietnam). Beijing had wanted a statement backing its entry ahead of Taipei, but the Taiwan delegation blocked the paragraph. The U.S. and China agreed to resume negotiations on Beijing's application. The aim is to get the Chinese in by Seattle.



From the Department of Fun and Games
APEC was not all serious business, as the following awards we are handing out testify:

BEST KISSERS: New Zealand Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo. At the official welcome for leaders in the atrium lobby of the Carlton Hotel, Zedillo put his hand on Shipley's back. Shipley reciprocated. Officials and hotel staff watching from the balconies whooped with delight at the apparent closeness of the pair. Gamely Zedillo leaned over and kissed his host on both cheeks. Hoots from the crowd. "Someone should tell Burton [Shipley's husband]," one spectator joked.

MOST RIDICULOUS SPIN: Given by the Indonesian spokesman who denied New Zealand's assertion that Jakarta was an observer at the East Timor talks. "It may be that one of our delegation happened to be in the room." In fact, an Indonesian official attended to take notes.

WEIGHTIEST BILATERAL TALKS: Between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Philippine counterpart Joseph Estrada. Instead of discussing the contentious Spratlys in their 20-minute meeting on Sept. 12, the pair talked about how to reduce weight. Noticing that the Filipino leader was sporting "a slimmer figure" than when they last met in Kuala Lumpur last year, Jiang asked Estrada what his secret was. "I would like to learn how you did it," Jiang was quoted as saying by Estrada's press secretary who did not reveal if his boss gave his strategy away. Estrada recently shed about nine kilos by staying away from rice and taking the diet pill Xenical. Jiang and Estrada may have had a hard time sticking to diets at Auckland. Among the lavish (and universally praised) menu items: Akaroa salmon roasted with Gisborne winter truffles; chargrilled loin of Manawatu lamb with lamb juices on puree of golden kumara, asparagus tips, fennel and mint oil; and a pavlova tower with plump sundried Central Otago apricots and a chocolate mocha tart. Of course, only New Zealand wines were served throughout.

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home

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