Two new books edited by China APEC Academy published

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Recently, the two monographs “Issue about APEC Forward to Free Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region”co-edited by Gong Zhankui and Liu Chenyang and “Issue about the Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific Region” co-edited by Liu Chenyang and Yu Xiaoyan have come out in succession. The two monographs are the latest research results by the above-mentioned scholars who carried out a series of relevant major issues in the past two years.

Since the establishment of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1989, it has set up the "Bogor Goals" in 1994, that is, the industrialized economies achieving the goal of free and open trade and investment no later than the year 2010 and developing economies no later than the year 2020. In the following year, it endorsed the "Osaka Action Agenda" to make the "Bogor Goals" be specific. Trade and investment liberalization covers a total of 4 areas and trade facilitation includes 11 areas, and the basic principles were established to promte trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. Since 1996, APEC members submitted their unilateral action plan (IAP) to achieve the Bogor Gaols and made efforts to promote trade and investment liberalization process from 1997. Up to now, APEC has already passed through the course of 20 years and the implementation of its measures on trade and investment liberalization has lasted 11 years. As time went by, the trade and investment liberation was more and more difficult to achieve in recent years because of APEC's own constraints.At the beginning of this century, a number of APEC members tried to conclude a free trade area (FTA) as the expedient so that added new uncertainties for the future development of APEC process.

In order to ensure the implementation of established policy and continue to promote the APEC trade and investment liberalization, some scholars put forward a proposal of building APEC as a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) in May 2003. However, FTAAP as one of the focus topics of APEC is still hovering at the stage of endless discussion without decision. Therefore, the in-depth study for this issue not only has the great theoretical and practical significance but also has strong time-effectiveness.

The book “Issue about APEC Forward to Free Trade in the Asia-Pacific Region” described the background and its subsequent course of FTAAP and did multi-level theoretical research on this issue. The book discussed and analyzed the path from APEC to FTAAP as well as its advantages and disadvantages, and also made in-depth political and economic analysis on the APEC members’ standpoint on FTAAP issue, hence it came to reference choices for China’s participation in FTAAP.

In addition, the publication of the book enables the reader to have more comprehensive knowledge and understanding of APEC process and make more obhective judgement and expectations on the prospects for the development of APEC.

"Issue about the Economic Integration in Asia-Pacific Region”, a book of economics, political science and international relations theory on regional economic integration, adopted theory and empirical research methods, illustrated the development status and characteristics of major regional economic integration organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, and did futher exploration on the overall strategy for China’s participation in the ecnomic integration process of this region.

The regional economic integration is one of the important trends for the current world economic development. The population of the Asia-Pacific region accounts for about one-third of the world's total population, and its total GDP and total trade share are more than 50% in the world. Therefore, the Asia-Pacific regional economic integration process is not only related to the region's economic growth and prosperity but also has an important impact on the trends and patterns of the future world economic development. But compared to the economic integration process in Europe and other regions, the Asia-Pacific regional economic integration has a late start and is still in the low-level of concluding a free trade area as its main form. At the same time, as a result of large in area, a large number of economies and their enormous differences in the Asia-Pscific region, it will be a long process for the economic integration of the region and present the multi-level, multi-domain, multi-channel features, which is also a challenge for China’s economic diplomacy and active participation in economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus it pointed out at the end of the book that “To set up China’s regional cooperation strategy and establish a reasonable layout of regaionl cooperation should be a necessary and urgent task”, and then put forward relevant suggestions about the overall strategy on the promotion of China’s partcipation in the economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Over the years, the China APEC Academy has carried out extensive and in-depth research on the Asia-Pacific regional economic integration organizations and submitted a large number of consulting reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant state ministries and commissions. The achievements of these studies have laid a solid foundation to write this book.