Staff writerThe Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum has drawn up the draft guideline to promote cooperation among Japan, the United States and the 19 other member economies in industrial science and technology toward ensuring sustainable economic growth and facilitating regional trade and investment.The draft guideline, a full text of which was obtained Thursday by The Japan Times, enshrines four principles to be respected by the APEC economies in promoting cooperation in industrial science and technology.The four principles are: open access, balanced benefits, private sector/business participation and supportive regulatory framework.The draft of the APEC Agenda for Science and Technology Industry Cooperation into the 21st Century will be finalized by APEC ministers in charge of science and technology during their meeting in Mexico early next month.The draft guideline also specifies 12 areas of technology in which the APEC economies are encouraged to participate in joint research and development and other activities to boost cooperation. Included in the 12 areas are exploitation of natural resources, biotechnology, and environmental and agricultural technologies.After being finalized by APEC ministers in charge of science and technology, the draft will be submitted for endorsement to an annual meeting of APEC foreign and trade ministers and an informal summit of top APEC leaders. Both gatherings will be held in Malaysia in mid-November.According to the draft guideline, “APEC’s ability to harness technologies for the future and develop the human resources needed for innovation will support sustainable economic growth and complement efforts to facilitate increased investment and trade in the region.”The document goes on to say that “recognizing the growing role of science, engineering and technology in promoting economic growth and their close linkages to trade and investment,” the guideline will “facilitate and further strengthen the economic and technological cooperation needed to achieve the APEC vision.”APEC’s vision for the 21st century is of a dynamic and prosperous Asia-Pacific region built on the development and application of industrial science and technology which supports economic growth and improves the quality of life while safeguarding the environment and the natural resources necessary for economic sustainability,” the document says.

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