An agenda for Shared Prosperity Strategically positioning APEC for the post-2020 world

Peter Drysdale, Adam Triggs

APEC is a substantial international asset. It builds the confidence, trust and political certainty that underpin economic prosperity and security in our region. But APEC is at a critical juncture. In 1994, APEC economies agreed to the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific by 2020. With that deadline fast approaching, the international order which APEC helped create is challenged by more uncertainties and perils than at any other time since its creation. The question for this paper is how APEC can be used strategically to harness the opportunities of the post-2020 world, address the big challenges it faces and steer the region towards a Shared Prosperity. The paper outlines APEC’s progress on achieving free and open trade and investment by 2020. Such a goal, of course, is never complete. But underscoring APEC’s significant progress is critical to highlighting its value. The major trends shaping the post-2020 environment are set out: from the structural underpinnings of the current backlash to globalisation to demographic changes; urbanisation; advances in technology; the shifting nature of trade and investment and the transformation of energy markets and a changing climate. The paper outlines a strategic post-2020 vision for APEC. At its core, this vision stresses the importance of an agenda which is inclusive—sharing the benefits of technological advances and trade, achieves strong political buy-in, engages the United States, China and all APEC members and addresses the major challenges of the post-2020 environment. The agenda is centred on an Infrastructure Vision to 2040, an investment facilitation initiative, a modern APEC trade agenda and an energy ministers initiative on governance reform, technology and carbon abatement.