Water Week

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India’s continuing absence from APEC a serious gap; a ‘future engine’ of global economy, says Aus Chamber of Commerce chief

Posted by waterweek on 22 September 2007

India’s continuing absence from APEC was a serious gap in its membership, and one that should be remedied by APEC leaders, said Peter Hardy, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in The Australian Financial Review (3/9/2007, p.B15).

Simple argument: The issue of membership and composition of APEC has been largely kept off the grouping’s agenda over the past decade, following the imposition of a moratorium in 1997. However, the moratorium would come to an end this year, and the question of opening APEC membership to aspirants – most notably, India – should feature prominently on the agenda for the Sydney APEC leaders’ meeting. The arguments for India’s membership were relatively simple and straightforward. India was one of the largest economies in the world, widely recognised as one of the future engines of the world economy, and, quite simply, just too big to ignore – not least bcause it was the world’s largest democracy and its 12th largest economy.

Notable gap: “There can be little doubt India’s continued omission from APEC constitutes a notable gap in the grouping’s composition, and places it at a competitive disadvantage to other Asia-Pacific regional bodies where India is an active member. While the list is longer, two regional groupings come to mind: the East Asian Summit (EAS), and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) processes,” Hardy added.

The Australian Financial Review, 3/9/2007, p. B15

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