Director for Anticrime Programs David M. Luna for Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs today said good governance can spur high-quality economic growth by fostering and sustaining the entrepreneurial spirit that nurtures innovation, enhances competitiveness, reduces market distortions, and promotes trade and long-term investment.
In his remarks at “Combating Corruption and Bribery in APEC: Promoting Open Governance and Market Integrity to Strengthen Economic Growth and Competiveness” in Russia, Mr. Luna announced that Government of the Russian Federation will lead the new APEC year.
Mr. Luna thanked the participating economies in the forum that worked with the United States last year to ensure success during the US chairmanship of APEC’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency (ACT) Experts’ Working Group.
APEC 2011 is the most important business meetings convention in Hawaii’s history. President Barack Obama had joined in Honolulu by 20 other heads of state from Pacific Rim nations to address issues of economic growth, trade, and investment. Up to 20,000 international delegates are expected in Honolulu for APEC to do business, including finance ministers, diplomats, policy-makers, and top CEOs. Honolulu is APEC’s first U.S. host site since 1993.
Mr. Luna discussed the ACT achievements in 2011. He hopes that they will be able to build on this momentum during the Russian Chairmanship to continue implementing the actions outlined in the ACT’s five-year strategy.
He cited that the 2011 APEC High Level Policy Dialogue reaffirmed and reinforced the commitment by economies to report on their implementation of previously-agreed APEC anti-corruption and transparency policies.
“We join our ACT colleagues in looking forward to seeing the first reports at SOM II and to learning more about economies’ anti-corruption and transparency efforts.” -Mr. Luna
He noted that open governance is fundamental to their work in many ways as it shines a light on corruption and empowers communities to monitor and voice their perspectives on government policies and the use of resources.
“Conversely, when a government hides its work from the view of the public, the public’s trust in the government erodes.” -Mr. Luna
He stressed that good governance tools are critical to nurturing long-term, sustainable growth and to supporting the regional development and prosperity to which all aspire.
“Working together with civil society, economies can harness greater innovation, efficiencies, and technologies that help shape a better future across communities.” -Mr. Luna
He pointed out that inspired by the Arab Spring, people around the world are demanding more transparency in government. He stated that governments can demonstrate their commitment to uphold the highest levels of integrity by adopting effective anticorruption policies that put accountability front and center.
“As Secretary Clinton has emphasized: Empowering citizens to fight corruption and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance are also vital. Openness is not only good for governance, it is good for sustainable GDP growth.” -Mr. Luna
Mr. Luna emphasized that combating corruption and bribery and protecting legitimate business revenues by dismantling illicit markets and networks also require collective action and shared responsibility among APEC partners, as well as close coordination with relevant regional and international organizations that have expertise and capacities to help improve the overall governance climate in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The United States is proud that the ACT, in partnership with ABAC, also advanced anti-bribery as a core area of cooperation in 2011.” -Mr. Luna
APEC’s impact is global, as its 21-member economies account for 40% of the world population, 54% of the world gross domestic product, and 44% of world trade.
2011 marks the first time that the United States will host the APEC Summit since its inception in 1993.
The 21 member economies of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States of America and Vietnam. APEC 2011 USA will gather 21 world leaders and more than 60 ministers. The meeting is expected to attract over 8,000 delegates and 2,000 accredited international media.