M'sia hopes for APEC consensus on green goods list

VLADIVOSTOK (Sept 2, 2012): It will not be easy to get all 21 APEC economies to agree on the list of about 100 environmental products suggested for preferential tariff treatment but Malaysia hopes that a consensus could be reached at the ongoing APEC 2012 Summit here.

Reaching a consensus on the list, the first such list for green goods among trading nations, will be a major breakthrough as it will not only benefit the APEC economies but open the trade doors to other countries as well via multilateral ties, said Senior Director of APEC Division, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Datuk N. Vasudevan.

It was not easy to get the list up to begin with, as more than 300 products were first drawn up with the input of member nations, and this was further reduced in the subsequent APEC meetings before it was brought down to less than 100, he told Bernama on the sidelines of the APEC meet.

The list will set the way for the opening up of more markets for these goods and tariffs will be capped at five per cent by 2015, said Senior Principal Assistant Director of APEC Division, Aida Safinaz Alias.

The challenge remains of course for APEC nations, as this will not be a binding agreement but based on APEC's policy of voluntary commitment, but nonetheless, coming up with such a list would be a major contribution to the encouragement of sustainable development and the production of green goods that will augur well for the environment in the long term, Vasudevan said.

A lot of resources have gone into the process of listing of these goods, and discussions will continue on the technical details and the justification for the goods for listing, and generally everybody has to be convinced that they are of benefit to the environment, he added.

Meanwhile, the APEC 2012 Leaders Week took off here today with the Concluding Senior Officials Meeting's plenary sessions where discussions are expected to focus on the four priority areas of Strengthening Food Security, Accelerating Trade and Investment Liberalisation, Regional Economic Integration, Establishing Reliable Supply Chains and Fostering Innovative Growth. – Bernama

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