APEC must follow trend of times toward shared future

- Nov 19, 2018-

Thanks to their embracing of free trade and investment facilitation, the 21 APEC members, which include the world's most robust growth engines, now account for 60 percent of the global GDP and 47 percent of global trade.

But the commitment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation members to their 1994 agreement to pursue the reducing barriers to trade and investment and promote the free flow of goods, services and capital - the Bogor Goals that have facilitated the region's dynamism - has never been tested as much as it is today, with the beggar-thy-neighbor approach of unilateralism gumming up the works like sugared gasoline.

Although supposedly flying the flag for a rules-based region, the petulant me-first mentality on display at the 26th Economic Leaders' Summit in Papua New Guinea was again a disruptive presence seeking to subvert efforts to foster a greater sense of community and shared development.