MANILA, Philippines — Corruption in the Philippines and Pacific Rim economies is among the key issues the United States seeks to address under the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a senior American diplomat said.
Robert Wang, US senior official for APEC, said regional leaders such as China and the US see corruption is a “big” and “pervasive” problem hindering economic exchanges, free trade and development in the region.
“How do you continue to sustain growth without dealing with this issue? Because it essentially produces unfair sort of disparity of wealth and no rule of law, so in the long term, you really have to deal with it,” Wang said in a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday.
He said that the US and China regard an anti-corruption program among APEC nations a “high priority” reflected in current and future agenda and activities of the forum.
The US and China have initiated a network of law enforcement officials involved in anti-bribery efforts in the APEC region as a way to share information and best practices.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales represented the Philippines in the first APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Enforcement Agencies meeting earlier this month in Beijing.
Wang said that the drive intends to understand the various legal systems, rules and regulation in the region to determine how involved countries can stem corruption.
APEC leaders are expected to come out with a set of principles on anti-bribery and enforcement that will hopefully be adopted by involved economies, Wang said.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales attending the APEC anti-corruption network meeting in Beijing, China on August 17, 2014. APEC
“[The guidebook] will be something that will be essentially directed by the leaders for us to do in the coming year,” he said.
Wang will soon visit the Philippines, which will host the APEC Summit next year, and meet with fellow diplomatic and trade leaders.
“[The Philippines is] very, very eager to begin to prepare for next year’s agenda and how we can follow through from this year,” he said.Comments (0)