FOCUS-on-APEC 5 June, July 1996

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Recommended Citation

Walden Bello*, "FOCUS-on-APEC 5 June, July 1996", Aprenet, June 30, 1996,



A regular bulletin produced by Focus on the Global South (FOCUS)
Bangkok, Thailand

Number 5, June/July 1996

FOCUS was designated the NGO Information/Monitoring Center on APEC
(Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum) by the participants of the 1995
NGO Forum on APEC in Kyoto, Japan.  It was out of this commitment that
FOCUS-on-APEC was created.  FOCUS-on-APEC carries APEC-related
news, the latest items of interest and concern, and informed and critical
analysis from a progressive perspective -- with a broad geographical
concentration on East Asia and the Western and South Pacific.

FOCUS-on-APEC is where you can learn about other people's APEC-
related work and they can learn about yours.   Please send us your APEC-
related information (by e-mail, fax or snail-mail!)  -- including news items,
research papers, opinion pieces and information on grassroots activities
happening in your respective country.  Your contributions will be
incorporated into the bulletins.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!

        -  RP's Blueprint for APEC: Roadmap to Prosperity?
        -  Japanese Government's Agenda for Manila
        -  APEC Economies Submit Economic Liberalization Action Plans
        -  Confusion over Formation of Two APEC Business Bodies
        -  Philippine Update
        -  US NGO Working Group on APEC
        -  Trade, Land Rights and the Maori in New Zealand
        -  Resources available through the APEC secretariat
        -  FOCUS-on-APEC Back Issues Available via FOCUS' Website

RP's Blueprint for APEC: Roadmap to Prosperity?

by Walden Bello*

Since the Philippines will host the 1996 Summit of the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC), the way it conceives its relationship to and
role in the grouping is of more than just passing interest to the rest of the

Well, the Philippine Government's blueprint for its role in APEC is finally
out, and the only one looking good is the Asia Foundation.

Blueprint Funded by Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation funded the research and writing that went into APEC
and Philippines: Catching the Next Wave to the tune of P350,000.  The
Foundation undoubtedly meant well, but why is a foreign funding agency
underwriting the production of the Philippine government's basic strategy
towards APEC?  This is a question that is bugging even some participants in
the policy-making process.  The reason does not have to do with the Asia
Foundation seeking to influence Philippine policy, says one who is
intimately involved in the enterprise, and who refuses to be identified.  "The
government should have paid for the research," he says.  "But its priorities
are wrong.  Government money is going to the palabas [entertainment
events] and to the security of the APEC bigwigs rather than to substantive

Launched at a Department of Foreign Affairs event featuring President Fidel
Ramos in the third week of June, the report was about five months late--to
the frustration of many people involved in the APEC process.  Even more
frustrating to them, the report is said to omit or distort many views
expressed during the National Preparatory Summit for APEC held on
December 10, 1995, the resolutions of which were supposed to be the basis
of the policy paper.

But was the policy paper worth waiting for?

First, the positive side.  Perhaps the most solid essay is the one on "APEC
and Sustainable Development," which might be described as one long word
of caution about the threat to the environment posed by the sort of blanket
trade liberalization that is the core of APEC.  "With wrong incentives and
the absence of proper safeguards," it warns, "a liberal trade and investment
regime is equally likely to exert pressure to exploit or deplete resources
more rapidly than otherwise."

Unfortunately, the sustainable development chapter is a minority voice in a
book that otherwise celebrates the trade and investment liberalization that
APEC represents.

Where is Agriculture?

But before the rest of the APEC blueprint is analyzed, it must be noted that
there is something very important missing, and that is the government's
policy on APEC and agriculture.

This is, of course, a serious omission since agricultural liberalization has
been one of the main bones of contention in APEC.  Last year, the Osaka
Summit nearly foundered on the insistence by Japan, China, South Korea,
and Taiwan--with the informal backing of Indonesia and Malaysia--that
agriculture be excluded from the APEC liberalization agenda.  Does the
Philippine government back its neighbors?  Or does it back the US position
that APEC is a "GATT-plus arrangement"--that is, one that will initiate a
faster and more thoroughgoing liberalization of agriculture than what APEC
countries have committed themselves to under the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (GATT)?

It might be noted in this connection that the US is fairly transparent about
the reasons for its insistence that agricultural liberalization be central
to the
APEC agenda:  the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
estimates that two-thirds of the global increase anticipated for farm exports
to the year 2000 will take place in the Asia-Pacific region, and it wants to
make sure that by that time this market, including the Philippines, will
absorb some 60 per cent of US agricultural exports, up from the already
large 40 per cent it accounts for currently.

IT: RP's Agenda or Microsoft's?

The section on Information Technology is great on data but simply
misleading in its conclusions and downright irresponsible in its key
recommendation to "strictly enforce intellectual property rights."  To say
that strict adherence to and enforcement of "Intellectual Property Rights"
will result in the more rapid adoption of information technology (IT) and in
a more competitive IT industry in the Philippines is simply false.

Strict IPR enforcement will raise the price of software and computer
hardware, much of which is now affordable in the current looser IPR
enforcement regime.  For one thing, tight enforcement will radically raise
the costs of the government's data and information operations. As pointed
out by the United States Trade Representative's Office report on trade and
intellectual property for 1996, the Philippine government is currently one of
the country's biggest users of unlicensed software.

Strict IPR enforcement will also act to dampen local innovation owing to the
royalty payments that innovators will have to pay US and Japanese
information giants like Microsoft or IBM for patented technologies that are
the building blocks of advances in software and hardware.  This is not
speculation:  Korean firms like Samsung and Hyundai have had their efforts
to innovate in integrated circuits blocked by the US firms Texas Instruments
and Intel's charges of intellectual piracy and demands for excessive royalty

IPR enforcement is a US agenda, not a Philippine one, and perhaps one
reason it has been smuggled into the Philippine government position is that
Bill Gates' Viceroy to the country, Michael Hard, general manager of
Microsoft Philippines, made an aggressive input into the document.
Another reason is also unstated:  the Philippines is coming up for review by
the United States Trade Representative's Office in October, and the
government desperately wants to leave Washington's "watch list" of IPR
violators before the APEC Summit.

The authors of the volume should just have been more honest and stated
boldly that the reason the government wants tighter IPR enforcement is that
it faces US trade sanctions otherwise, instead of trying to prove the
impossible:  that the higher IT costs this would entail would be a boost to
the spread of IT in that country.
Arming SME's with Slingshots

Championing SME's (small and medium enterprises) is a popular stance in
ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) these days.  The report
adopts this posture, but it does a great disservice to the SME sector by
prescribing a cure that is likely to worsen its current status.  Opening up to
the winds of international competition via trade and investment
liberalization, it says, will work to the benefit of the SMEs.  This is hard to
believe, since by the paper's own description, "Except for a few SMEs at
the international best practice frontier, the overwhelming majority are
characterized by low levels of productivity, stemming primarily from the
inadequate supply of complementary inputs of capital and skilled human
resources."  Moreover, entrepreneurial and managerial skills are in short
supply, "causing high death rates among SMEs."

>From the experience of other economies, the key to survival of SMEs is
strong state support in the form of judicious protection against unfair
foreign competition and anti-monopoly action against unfair trading
practices by large local firms.  But this is precisely the sort of effective
"state intervention" that the proponents of trade and investment liberalization
in APEC would like to outlaw.  The report's recommendations--providing
SMEs training in business, access to information technology, access to
information about markets, and access to credit--are tantamount to
equipping them with slingshots in the rough and tumble world of liberalized
regional trade and investment dominated by aggressive American, Japanese,
and NIC conglomerates.

Mistaken Focus on Investment Code Liberalization

The key recommendation of the paper on investment is that despite the
liberalization of the foreign investment code over the last ten years, it
is still
not liberal enough to attract foreign investors.  Thus, the Philippine retail
trade sector must be opened up to foreign investors, and negative lists, or
lists of industries in which foreign investors are banned or restricted, must
be scrapped.  And further measures must be taken to enhance the security of
"foreign land tenure."  The idea is for the Philippines to have the most
friendly foreign investment code in the Asia-Pacific, basically giving foreign
investors "national treatment," or providing them with equal rights as
domestic investors.

The problem with this approach is that it simply is not true that the best way
to attract foreign investors is by giving them royal treatment.  Indeed, a
comparative look at our Asian neighbors shows that despite the fact that
they have had more restrictive foreign investment codes than the Philippines
over the last decade, they have nevertheless attracted far greater amounts of
investment than that country.  An examination of Japanese investment
patterns, for instance, reveals that between 1988 and 1993, $6.0 billion
went to Indonesia, $5.3 billion into Thailand, $4.2 billion into Malaysia,
and $2.2 billion into Taiwan.  Even South Korea, which US government
sources regularly denounce as having one the world's most restrictive
investment codes, if not the most illiberal one, got $2.1 billion, compared to
the Philippines $1.1 billion over the same period.

The reason foreign investors favor an economy do not lie in the relative
looseness of its foreign investment code relative to others.  The report tries
to prove its case by citing the complaints of foreign investors, but foreign
investors will always find cause to complain, even if you have already given
them the store--lock, stock, and barrel.  One difference between Philippine
and, say, Malaysian technocrats is that the former take the foreign investors'
bitching seriously while the latter take them with a grain of salt.

The Go-It Alone Trade Lib Strategy: Stroke of Genius or Madness?

The core of the blueprint is the section of trade liberalization, and here the
government's stance is that whether or not our neighbors move toward trade
liberalization, the Philippines must continue inexorably on the path of the
trade reforms, to complete its program of unilateral liberalization that will
bring about a uniform tariff for all goods of five per cent by 2004.  To use
the words of Dr.  Jesus Estanislao, the Filipino representative to the (now
disbanded) Eminent Persons' Group, the Philippines must "bear the burden
of APEC leadership by example."  Or as President Ramos puts it, "We must
blaze the trail that others must follow."

Brave words but pure bravado.  If the Philippines' neighbors like Japan,
Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China have been, in contrast to our
government, so resistant to the American-prescription of blanket
liberalization, there is a reason for this, and the reason is that state
intervention in the area of trade--which included both judicious
protectionism when it came to the domestic market and mercantilism
(aggressively subsidizing their exporters) when it came to international
markets--has been a central reason for their success.  It is this factor--the
creative role of state intervention in trade to correct the imperfections
of the
international market and give one's exporters a leg up in international
competition--that the introduction to the blueprint deliberately overlooks
when it ascribes the East Asian industrialization experience solely to two
sources:  markets and technology.

Visionaries are said to be either geniuses or madmen, and given the realities
of international economic realpolitik and the indispensability of
interventionist trade policy management in the experience of late
industrializers like its neighbors, the RP vision of "leading by example," of
"going it alone" even if its Asian neighbors do not dance to Washington's
siren song of liberalization is unlikely to be a stroke of genius.

This is the problem with technocrats who have not experienced what it takes
to develop and keep one's economy afloat in a harsh world where
established powers, like the United States, advance their corporations'
interests by any means possible, be it GATT, APEC or unilateral measures
like Super 301. These technocrats often have little or no understanding of
the role of power in international economic transactions.  As one observer
once remarked, the difference between Filipino economists and technocrats
and their Asian counterparts is that the Filipinos imbibe Chicago School free
trade theory as academics and try to implement it when they get into
government, whereas other Asian economists might praise free trade when
in the company of the Americans and Australians but, in practice, they
protect their economies like hell.

There is, however, one important APEC actor that will applaud the
sentiments and policy proposals of "APEC: Catching the Next Wave," and
that is Washington. For the proposals fall right into its game plan of having
the Ramos government, as host of the 1996 Summit, put back on track the
US'  free trade agenda that was derailed by the Asian countries during the
Osaka APEC Summit last year.

*Dr. Walden Bello, is co-director of Focus on the Global South, a program
of Chulalongkorn University's Social Research Institute.  He is also
professor of public administration and sociology at the University of the
Philippines and co-author of the study _Against the Mainstream: APEC and
the Asia-Pacific Development Debate_ (Hong Kong: Arena, 1995).

Undemocratic and Unrepresentative:
Japanese Government Plans for Manila

by Tomoko Sakuma, People's Forum 2001, Japan

Although the Japanese government is taking a leading role in the working
groups of APEC, accessing information within Japan is an arduous task.
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) refuses to share even the
slightest details of the Japanese "Action Plan" for the APEC Senior Officials
Meeting (SOM) which was held in Cebu, on 22 May.  Furthermore, official
APEC information is not only kept from concerned groups, evidence shows
legislators are eliminated from the APEC process as well.

What is known is that the "Action Plan", based on the principles of the
"Action Agenda" adopted last year in Osaka, mirrors the typical unilateral
"Asian Style" for trade and investment liberalization in the region.  The
Japanese Action Plan seems to be comprised of the National Deregulation
Plan, and some other deregulation and
tariff reduction plans.

Unlike other government documents, Japan's National Deregulation Plan is
open to the public.  The plan seems to be based on policies outlined in
MITI's (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) 1996 white paper.
According to a MITI official, the APEC Action Plan also contains
deregulation and tariff reductions, as well as cooperation plans not included
in the National Deregulation Plan.  The Deregulation Plan mainly targets
the items particularly requested by the United States and the EU such as
construction/development, finance, insurance, communication/broadcasting,
pharmaceuticals, automobile/transportation, mutual recognition/imports
(400 out of 1800 items are in this category) and a few commodities.

The Deregulation Plan also states that Japan should promote structural
reform including new innovation to create new business opportunities and
the increasing of R&D and investment.  Actual increases of R&D has been
for the private sector - meaning corporations are benefiting from
government financed R&D.  Another example of hidden subsidies is export
insurance. While the government is promoting infrastructure building by the
private sector, it is also supporting Japanese corporations financially by
taking risks for them. PF2001 found that MITI's export insurance is
financially devastating, as it has reached a one trillion yen (US$10 billion)
deficit this year - and short-term loans of financial investment and loans are
covering it.  Under this system, financial management is not questioned by

APEC is steadily moving forward without citizen's or even legislator's
participation and understanding.  Although APEC is not a formal binding
body like the WTO, there are heated debates within the APEC body
regarding new clauses and articles. Unless critical analysis and lobbying
takes place, Japan (and member countries) will lose necessary regulations to
protect the environment, people's health, and marginalized industry, and
instead, strengthen existing corporations.

APEC Economies Submit Economic Liberalization Action Plans at Senior
Officials' Meeting in Cebu

by Walden Bello

In a Summit in November, senior officials from the 18 member economies
of APEC submitted their "action plans" to achieve regional free trade at a
meeting in Cebu, Philippines, May 20-23.

The plans were supposed to consist of specific and concrete commitments to
realize the broad "action agenda" that was agreed upon in Osaka last year.
Although Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Federico Macaranas
called the submission of liberalization plans "a tremendous jump" for
APEC, other sources were not so sanguine.  One report in the _Nation_
(Bangkok) cited Thai officials who said that the plans were really only
"frameworks," not specific commitments.

According to a report by Christopher Johnstone of the Japan Economic
Institute in Washington, "The initial proposals vary considerably in their
scope and specificity...Although the plans remain confidential, some
generalized assessments became available.  Australia and Japan, for
example, reportedly submitted lengthy documents with fairly detailed
proposals for action in each of 15 economic areas.  Some APEC officials
have hinted, though, that even these proposals leave room for improvement.
The American proposal, too, is considered among the most complete of
those submitted in Cebu, although it reportedly contains only sketchy
coverage of certain areas--such as competition policy and trade in services.
Plans submitted by Indonesia and the Philippines also received high

However, Johnstone's sources described China's action plan as "not very
detailed, providing only a general outline of Beijing's strategy for meeting
the forum's goals.  Thailand's proposal, too, addressed only a handful of
the 15 areas...Some APEC officials also described Malaysia's initial offers
as disappointing."

The plans will be assessed and compared at an upcoming trade ministers'
meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand, in July.   The Philippines, as host
of this year's summit, is expected to do a preliminary comparison of the
different action plans.  However, sources in the Philippine Department of
Foreign Affairs say that they do not have the resources to do this.  When the
presidential office was reportedly requested for funds to support this effort,
Jose Almonte, a key adviser to President Ramos, is reliably reported to have
responded, "Just staple them together," referring to the action plans.

It is said that while Washington initially hoped to get comparable action
plans with substantive concessions, it is now focused on getting agreements
for liberalization on specific areas.  For instance, US negotiators have
proposed complete free trade on information technology, wood products,
and nonferrous metals.  US negotiators, together with Canada, Japan, and
the European Union, are tabling a proposal to reduce the tax on information
technology to zero by the year 2000.

Confusion over Formation of Two APEC Business Bodies

By Walden Bello

The business sector's participation in APEC has stepped up with the mid-
June meeting in Manila of the newly formed APEC Business Advisory
Council (ABAC).  ABAC, which replaced the controversial Eminent
Persons' Group (EPG), is composed of private sector luminaries from
APEC's 18 economies, including Hong Kong magnate Gordon Wu and
Robert Denham, chairman if Salomon, Inc.

The formation of another business grouping, however, has left some
quarters in some confusion.  The APEC Business Forum (ABF) was
established largely at the instigation of Philippine President Fidel Ramos.
Headed by Roberto Romulo, former Philippine Secretary of Foreign
Affairs, the ABF was asked by Ramos to "draw up and design projects for
private sector participation within the APEC community."  ABF was
described by one observer as "a dealmaking body that will target people like
Bill Gates of Microsoft."

Some quarters, however, are not pleased with the establishment of ABF,
reportedly because it is seen as a Philippine business initiative that
encroaches on the turf of ABAC, which is the only business grouping
anointed by member governments.  John Wolf, a US official detailed to
APEC, is reported to be vocal in his objections to ABF.  Other critics
faulted the designation of Robert Romulo as head of both ABAC and ABF
as an effort to find a prominent position for a disgraced official.  Ramos
was forced to oust Romulo as Foreign Affairs Secretary in 1995 in the
fallout over the execution of Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino domestic
helper, in Singapore.

In any event, the ABF is emerging as the Philippines' main venue for
regional business participation in the November summit.  A regional
business conference will be organized by the ABF Foundation, which is
currently composed of the heads of local business groups, including the
Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines,
Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Bankers Association of the
Philippines, and the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce
and Industry.


Philippine Update

by Joy Chavez

Philippine Groups Hold National Summit on APEC

The Philippine Hosting Committee of the Manila People's Forum on APEC
1996 will sponsor the Philippine NGO-PO Summit on APEC to be held on
04-05 July 1996 at the Institute of Social Order, Ateneo de Manila
University, Quezon City, Philippines.

The Philippine NGO-PO Summit carries the theme 'The Hidden Costs of
Free Trade' and aims to meet the following objectives:

1. To study the implications of trade liberalization on the Philippine
2. To identify options and alternatives necessary for policy reform agenda
focusing on the impact on the environment, people's lives and communities;
3. For the Philippine groups to put forward substantial input in the
formulation of the parallel NGO APEC agenda.

Invited to speak during the Philippine Summit are Representative Wigberto
Tanada (APEC: Implications to the Philippine Economy), Dr. Walden Bello
(FOCUS, to speak on APEC and Economic Globalization), and Mr. Ed
Tadem (ARENA,  on The Hidden Costs of Free Trade). Another expert will
speak on Gender and Globalization. The Summit will feature six concurrent
workshops on (1) growth and equity under a liberalized economy, (2) trade
and people's rights, (3) trade and environmental protection, (4) free trade,
employment, labor rights and security, (5) democratization and governance
in a global economy, and (6) women's and gender issues.

Organizers hope that Philippine groups will be able to consolidate their
positions and analyses on APEC as it affects Philippine social, political and
economic life. They also consider the July Summit a crucial activity that will
facilitate the integration of the Philippine agenda into the international NGO-
PO agenda on Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and the APEC process.

The Philippine Hosting Committee of the Manila people's Forum on APEC
1996 has offices at:

        Room 209 PSSC Building
        Commonwealth Avenue
        Diliman, Quezon City
        Tel: (632) 922 9621 loc. 314/339 and (632) 929 6211
        Fax: (632) 924 3767

APEC Senior Officials' and Ministerial Meetings

The last APEC Senior Officials' (SOM) and Ministerial Meetings (MM) held
in Cebu, Philippines in May 1996 were highlighted by contentious concerns
and touchy issues. Particularly problematic were the discussions on
membership, customs procedures and regulations, and the harmonization of
the valuation system. The failure of the meetings to resolve much of these
issues concretely and speedily pose a question on APEC's ability to
consolidate its members' agenda towards its grand vision of free trade by
the year 2020.

Experts Meeting on Environmentally Sustainable development/Financing

In preparation for the APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM, 09-10 July)
and the Ministerial Meeting (MM, 11-12 July) on Sustainable Development,
an experts meeting was held on 06-07 June 1996.

The highlight of the meeting, which was attended by environment experts
from the Asia Pacific region, was the recommendation that APEC
economies introduce environment and natural resources accounting (ENRA)
into their national income accounts.  Aside from the adoption of the ENRA,
the experts meeting also recommended that the July SOM and MM take up
the following:

- utilization of market-based instruments in addressing market failures;
- sharing of information and expertise in promoting, adapting, and adopting
innovative approaches to sustainable development;
- application of participatory approaches in planning, determinating, and
implementing innovative approaches to environment and natural resources
- building the capacities of environment and natural resources users and
managers in planning, determining, and implementing innovative
approaches for sustainable development; and,
- complementing market-based instruments with regulatory measures to
ensure optimal resource utilization.

Many creditor governments (from APEC) were silently hoping that the
'green aid plan' which includes debt relief instruments as the debt-for-nature
swaps would be among the main items on the experts' meeting's recommendations.
However, since Japan is against the 'green aid plan', and any form of debt
forgiveness for that matter, this hope was dashed from the very start.

Nevertheless, the recommendation to adopt ENRA in the APEC economies
national income accounting is a bit of good news for many. But, as APEC
is trying zealously to avoid the linking of trade with environment issues, it
remains a big question how far this recommendation can go.

Getting Rid of "Eyesores": Shades of Old?
from "APEC Watch #6", Manila

Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos instructed all Metro Manila mayors to
rid the metropolis of so called "eyesores". Aside from strewn uncollected
garbage and graffiti, these eyesores incidentally count warm bodies
including street children, vagrants and slum-dwelling communities. The
clean-up operation is in preparation for the countrys hosting of the APEC
Summit in November this year.

On the one hand, the instruction should be a welcome development. Metro
Manila residents can expect an intensified and regular garbage collection,
speedy repairs of broken and defective pipes that cause flooding in the
streets, and a generalized "clean and green" atmosphere. Urban poor
communities can expect to be resettled to more friendly environs where they
will have access to basic services. Street children meanwhile will be taken
into the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

On the other hand, Filipinos should be bothered by the telling statement of
former Armed Forces chief Lisandro Abadia, Chair of the APEC Organizing
Committee. Abadia was quoted by a local newspaper saying that the
"challenge to our local leaders is the delicate handling and removal of the
squatters from major routes to be used by the (APEC) leaders, including the
squatters within the CCP complex... To have a festive atmosphere, street
lighting should all be operating, and Christmas lighting should already be
on by the first week of November..."

It is a big question whether President Ramos instruction really intends the
protection of the welfare of Metro Manila residents. It is clear, however,
that the Philippine Government will do everything at its disposal to ensure
the pageantry entailed by the hosting of the APEC Summit. This is a grim
reminder of the pomp that accompanied every major event hosted by the
country during the time of Marcos. Wide walls were erected to screen the
slums from sight; vagrants and beggars were unceremoniously rounded up
only to be released to the streets again after the affair; and millions of
spent to render cosmetic beauty to the city.

Sixteen thousand urban poor families, and thousands of beggars and street
urchins, are expected to be affected by the presidential instruction.

US NGO Working Group on APEC - Preparing for Manila

by Ehito Kimura, Asia Pacific Center, DC

In response to the Philippines Hosting Committee's request for a collective
US NGO contribution to the upcoming People's Forum on APEC in
Manila, a US NGO Working Group on APEC was formed.  On June 26,
sixteen people representing a cross section of NGOs with substantive
concerns about APEC (complete list of participants below) convened via
conference call.

A major request of the Philippines Hosting Committee was for US NGOs to
develop papers in each of the five major clusters set for the Forum; People's
Rights, Labor and Migrant Rights, Economic and Social Development,
Ecology and Environment, and Democratization.  It was agreed that US
NGO efforts on issues such as labor rights and environment might provide
valuable lessons for a people's agenda in Asia, where as the US experience
of grassroots economic and social development is less rich.  Given that the
US has influence and experience in some of the key issues/clusters and less
so in others, the structure of the papers may differ accordingly.  The
tentative authors for the US issue papers are:  Mike Jendrezejczyk (People's
Rights), Pharis Harvey (Labor and Migrant Rights), John Cavanaugh
(Economic and Social Development), Lyuba Zarsky (Ecology and
Environment), John Gershman (Democratization
and Governance).

A key topic of the US Working Group's discussion was how NGOs could
best coordinate their efforts to influence APEC and maximize potential
influence.  In order to accommodate the diversity of issues, as well as to
maximize effectiveness, a multi-track framework for education
and advocacy was proposed.

The first track is citizen education and activism.  Currently, US NGO
coordination towards APEC is nascent, but has enormous potential.  The
Working Group has agreed to widen the network, and gather and distribute
materials for the general public.

The second track is to influence US negotiating on the bi-lateral level.  For
example, there is no venue for discussion of human rights at the APEC
Ministerial Summit,  so the US NGO Working Group will attempt to
influence policy makers prior to the conference in hopes they will raise the
issue bi-laterally in their informal capacities at APEC or elsewhere.  Unlike
human rights, conference call participants indicated progress working
within the structure of APEC on environmental issues such as marine
resources.  On July 9-10 there will be NGO participation in the official US
delegation to the APEC Environment Ministerial on Sustainable

The third track is the development of a people's regional agenda.  In
partnership with Asian groups, US NGOs can actively contribute to an
ongoing process of developing a just and sustainable region.  This may be
useful particularly in issues like economic and social development, and
democratization and governance.

The Manila People's Forum has been an effective mechanism
by which to have groups come together.  From there, it will be
important to maintain a structure within the diversity of groups.
The established framework should be useful for the 1997 Vancouver Forum
and beyond.

List of participants and their affiliations:

John Cavanaugh, Institute for Policy Studies (DC);  Andrea Durbin,
Friends of the Earth (DC);  Monica Gupta, Friends of the Earth (DC);
Thea Lee, Economic Policy Institute (DC);  Misa Kenmiya, Public
Citizen (DC);  John Gershman, Institute for Development Research
(Boston);  Shalini Nataraj, Universalist Unitarian Service Committee
(Boston);  David Schoor,  World Wildlife Fund (DC);  Carol Sundupe,
International Institute for Human Rights (Montreal, Canada);  Pharis
Harvey, International Labor Rights Fund (DC);  Lyuba Zarsky, Nautilus
Institute for Security and Sustainable Development (Berkeley);  Jason
Hunter, Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development
(Berkeley);  Victor Menotti, International Forum on Globalization (San
Francisco);  David Ortman, NW Friends of the Earth (Seattle);  John Price,
Institute of Asian Research (British Columbia);  Ehito Kimura, Asia Pacific
Center (DC).

The Asia Pacific Center in Washington DC has been designated the
secretariat for coordination.  The Center's role includes organizing
conference calls, distributing documents, and coordinating NGOs to
maximize output and minimize redundant efforts.  For more information
about the status of US NGOs and APEC, or if you wish to be a part, feel
free to contact Ehito Kimura at the Asia Pacific Center, e-mail:, tel:  1 202 543 1094, fax: 1 202 546 5103 or John
Gershman ( at the Institute of Development

'Free-Trade', Land and the Maori in New Zealand
by Aziz  Choudry, GATT Watchdog

Maori lawyer Moana Jackson (Ngati Kahungunu, Nagati Porou) says
"Colonial leopards rarely change their spots. They just stalk their prey in
different ways."  The GATT/WTO and APEC, and the 12 years of domestic
market reforms that have made Aotearoa/New Zealand one of the most
'structurally adjusted' economies in the Western world must be seen in a
context of the ongoing colonization of Maori lands, lives, resources and

The Treaty of Waitangi, signed between Maori (New Zealand's Indigenous
population) and British Crown representatives in 1840 affirmed Maori their
sovereign right of self-determination - and allowed Pakeha (European)
settlers to govern their own lands.  However, successive governments have
interpreted the Treaty as a document of cession of Maori sovereignty to the
Crown.  Furthermore, when making far-reaching international commitments
in forums like GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and APEC
(Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), New Zealand governments fail to
consult Maori or Tauiwi (non-Maori).

"Dispossessed of control over their economic base, and fighting for survival
on the playing field of a colonizing culture, an overwhelming number of
Maori people became dependent on the welfare state for jobs and income
support.  The state had made them dependent.  Now, in the name of market
freedom, it was about to kick that support away", writes Jane Kelsey,
author and Auckland University law lecturer.

Since 1984, New Zealand's Labor and National governments have returned
to the economic theories of the past, removing virtually all subsidies to
industry and drastically lowering tariffs, causing huge job losses.  The
Business Roundtable, the organized lobby of big business, and the
neoliberal ideologues in Treasury were elevated to the status of New
Zealand's true visionaries.  Tax cuts for the rich and big business
accompanied benefit cuts for the poor, while the government rapidly moved
to privatize and sell almost every area in which the state had a traditional
stake.  In the name of freedom, efficiency, international competitiveness and
reducing foreign debt, the "invisible hand of the market" smashed open a
highly protected economy.  The dismantling of health, education and
welfare, and labor market deregulation soon followed.  The New Right
revolution in Aotearoa has been called "Chile without a gun".

Maori have been strongly fighting the privatization of state-owned assets,
based on the dispossession of Maori lands and resources in breach of the
Treaty.  Land was taken for schools, hospitals, railways, roads, and other
public works.  Many Maori people-centered community development
initiatives have quietly challenged dominant market models held up as the
only possibilities for improving the economy.

Domestic policy designed to make the country attractive to transnational
capital, combined with international commitments to 'free-trade' and
investment regimes, are intimately related to Treaty claims.  Educationalist
Graham Smith (Ngati Apa, Te Aitanga A Hauiti) calls the Treaty a
significant 'structural impediment' to the new global economy and further
asset sales which the OECD and other exponents of neoliberal theory call
for.  Once in private and transnational hands, it is far harder for Maori to
regain control over their lands and resources.

Maori concerns about the GATT/TRIPs (Trade-related Intellectual Property
Rights) regime and renewed threats to indigenous intellectual property have
been widely expressed.  With increasing pressures to harmonize intellectual
property laws and growing commercial interest in traditional knowledge,
Maori knowledge and native plants are already being targeted by TNCs
(transnational corporations).

Recently, Moana Jackson stated, "GATT is a direct denial of the rights of
Maori as stated in the 1835 Declaration of Independence and as reaffirmed
in the Treaty of Waitangi [and] is also a continuation of the 'New' Right
policies of individualized monetarism which have done so much damage to
the collectivity of Maori throughout colonization."  In November 1994, the
pan-tribal Maori Congress rejected the Crown's ratification of GATT,
exempting member tribes from its provisions. It criticized the Government
for overstepping its Treaty responsibilities and democratic mandate by not
seeking the public's consent before signing.

Graham Smith wrote, "Historically the same processes of commodification
were used by Pakeha to access Maori land.  This was achieved through the
individualization of Maori land titles, i.e. to commodify or 'package up'
what were collective or group held titles into individual holdings in order to
facilitate their sale to Pakeha under Pakeha rules and custom."   Of the
country's 66 million acres, only 3 million remain in Maori hands.

The shock of New Zealand's radical reforms has led to a growing number
of Pakeha who feel betrayed, disenfranchised, and alienated.  Kelsey
describes the dominant Pakeha identity: "fostered by the political and legal
institutions of the colonial state [it] combined settler supremacism with the
complacency of welfare democracy.  The global free market threatened that

In late 1994, the government unveiled its 'fiscal envelope' policy, a NZ $1
billion take-it-or-leave-it deal, seeking full and final settlement of all
claims with Maori.  This reduced all colonial injustices to a sum of money --
what's more, an inadequate amount.  The Te Ika Whenua claim to the
Kaingaroa forest in the central North Island alone is estimated to have a
monetary value of at least NZ $5 billion.  This 20th century blanket and
beads solution was emphatically rejected by Maori throughout New
Zealand.  During 1995, land occupations, protests and decolonization work
among the ever increasing politicized Maori put the issue of Maori
sovereignty in the headlines.  The fiscal envelope is a Treasury-created plan
to wipe out Maori opposition to the further sale of New Zealand to
transnational interests as swiftly as possible.

Eager to attract investment and be seen as a driving force in global economic
integration, the government gives investors guarantees of open access to
lands and resources -- often Maori territories -- deregulating the economy at
an even greater pace than demanded by GATT and APEC.  Jackson sees the
government as a 'neo-colonial harlot', prostituting itself for the highest
investment price. "Unfortunately the assets with which it prostitutes itself
belong to Maori".  Between 1988 and 1993, New Zealand led the world in
sales of state-owned assets, often at fire sale prices, to overseas investors -
some NZ $14 billion or 3.6% of the annual GDP.  From 1987 to 1994 the
Overseas Investment Commission refused only four of 7,100 applications
to purchase New Zealand assets.  Ngati Pikiao lawyer Annette Sykes
challenged potential overseas investors and development bankers during last
year's ADB meeting in Auckland: "It's about time you sat down and talked
to us because the present illegal government has no warrant to deal with
resources, neither for the past, nor the present, and certainly not for the

Neoliberal politicians and businesspeople have labeled as "racist" criticism
of the rights of foreign companies to invest in New Zealand.  Such "trade-
related anti-racism" does not extend to concern for Maori rights.  Maori
nationalists have been demonized in much of the media and targeted by the
state for their views and actions, scapegoated for various real or perceived
social and economic ills, and even threatened with sedition charges for
statements opposing foreign investment.

The majority of New Zealanders are suffering from the erosion of their
political, legal and economic sovereignty.  For Maori, this is nothing new.
Maori resistance and demands for self-determination warrants a hard look at
New Zealand's 'free-market' agenda.  New Zealanders cannot afford to
stand by and watch this new wave of colonization of indigenous peoples,
their land and resources.  Genuine alternatives to corporate rule and
inhumane models of development cannot be created without addressing the
issue of indigenous sovereignty.


Available Publications from the APEC Secretariat in Singapore

1.  Foreign Direct Investment and APEC Economic Integration, (Economic
Committee, 1995)  Price: S$30; US$20

This publication describes foreign direct investment trends in APEC and
discusses the effects of these flows in terms of strengthening trade, financial
and technology linkages among APEC economies.  It includes tables with
data on FDI and related indicators.

2.  1995 Report on APEC Regional Economy:   Performance, Structure
Outlook and Tasks,  (Economic Committee, 1995) Price: S$25; US$15

The 1995 APEC Economic Outlook focuses on the strong macroeconomic
performance of the APEC region in recent years and the deepening of
economic interdependence within the region through growing trade and
financial linkages. It includes tables showing economic indicators of APEC

3.  Survey of Impediments to Trade and Investment in the APEC Region,
(Committee on Trade and Investment, 1995)  Price: US$30

This survey provides an overview of the major impediments to trade and
investment among APEC member economies.  It analyses the major types
of impediments including tariff and non-tariff barriers, affecting trade in
goods and services, and the impediments to investment.

4.  Deregulation and Liberalization Initiatives of the APEC Member
Economies,  (Committee on Trade and Investment, 1995)  Price: Free

A compilation of the APEC member economies deregulation initiatives
which includes unilateral measures,  measures related to GATT/WTO
Commitments, potentials, benefits to the economy and future directions.

5.  Compendium of Renewable Energy Programs and Projects in APEC
Member Economies,  (Regional Energy Cooperation Working Group)
PriceS$15; US$10

This provides a comprehensive picture of various renewable energy (RE)
programs and projects in APEC member economies.  Each chapter gives an
energy overview of a member economy, the regulatory/policy environment,
the availability of RE resources, current RE programs and representative RE

6.  Selected APEC Documents 1995, (APEC  Secretariat, 1995)
Price:S$30;  US$20

This is a compilation of documents from the major APEC meetings held in
1995, including the Leaders Declaration for Action, the Osaka Action
Agenda and the Joint Statements from the Finance, Telecommunications,
Transportation, SME and Science and Technology Ministerial Meetings.

7.  Survey of Commercialization  Strategies for Energy Efficiency and
Conservation Technologies,  (Regional Energy Cooperation Working
group, 1995)  Price:  S$30; US$20

This survey identifies commercialization strategies for energy efficiency and
conservation technologies and assesses the relative cost effectiveness of
specific commercialization strategies and their applicability in nine APEC
member economies.

*For order forms contact:  Director of Public Affairs, APEC Secretariat,
438, Alexandra Road #14-01/04, Alexandra Point, Singapore, 119958.

Tel: 65 2761880, Fax: 65 2761775, E-mail:,


Back issues of FOCUS-on-APEC are now available through the FOCUS
website .  See the APEC section of the
site.  For those who do not have internet access, you may receive back
issues of the bulletin by e-mailing FOCUS <> and
requesting the issue/s desired.

Hard Copy versions are available upon request.  However, due to our
budget constraints we are unable to air-mail the bulletin to many
people/groups, so we kindly ask you to print this out and regular mail
it to interested people/groups in your country who/that do not have
access to e-mail.  Thank you.
FOCUS-on-APEC is produced by Focus on the Global South (FOCUS).
Edited by Shea Cunningham and Aileen Kwa.  Contact information: c/o
CUSRI, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330 Thailand.  Tel: (66 2)
218 7363/7364/7365, Fax: (66 2) 255 9976, E-Mail:,

Focus on the Global South (FOCUS)
c/o CUSRI, Chulalongkorn University
Bangkok 10330 Thailand
Tel: (66 2) 218 7363/7364/7365          E-Mail:
Fax: (66 2) 255 9976            Website:

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