President Park Geun-hye said on Nov. 11 that she is in full support of China’s road map for the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
The FTAAP, which is led by China, is designed to counter the Trans-Pacific Partnership of the United States. As such, much attention is being paid to what meaning the President’s remarks will have in the two superpowers’ hegemonic competition in Northeast Asia.
“For the Asia-Pacific region to build a new growth momentum, free trade and investment is the most viable option,” she said during the APEC Summit at the China National Convention Center in Beijing, adding, “Last year, I compared various efforts for free trade in Asia to tributaries and the FTAAP to the main stream, and I believe that these efforts will yield great results when combined in harmony.”
She also proposed a public transportation card that works in all of the 21 APEC member countries as a way of accelerating the realization of this great cause. Her proposal has been reflected in the APEC Connectivity Blueprint, which is an addendum to the summit declaration.
She also suggested expansion of the Authorized Economic Operator Mutual Recognition Arrangement (AEO MRA) for logistics cost reduction and workflow efficiency in the APEC member countries. The arrangement is characterized by simplified customs inspections and preferential customs clearance for trading companies acknowledged by customs offices.