Organization of American States Summits of the Americas
Follow-up and Implementation: Mandates

TRADE: Trade Transparency

  1. We will promote consumer protection, fair competition, and the improved functioning of markets through clear, effective, and transparent regulatory frameworks (Declaration of Nuevo León, 2004).

  1. We welcome the significant progress achieved to date toward the establishment of a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), including the development of a preliminary draft FTAA Agreement. As agreed at the Miami Summit, free trade, without subsidies or unfair practices, along with an increasing stream of productive investments and greater economic integration, will promote regional prosperity, thus enabling the raising of the standard of living, the improvement of working conditions of people in the Americas and better protection of the environment. The decision to make public the preliminary draft of the FTAA Agreement is a clear demonstration of our collective commitment to transparency and to increasing and sustained communication with civil society (Declaration of Québec, 2001).*
    *The Venezuelan delegation reserves its position on paragraph 15 of the Declaration of Quebec City and paragraph 6-A of the Plan of Action, in light of consultations that are taking place in various sectors of the national government dedicated to our internal legislation, in order to fulfill the commitments that would result from the implementation of the FTAA in the year.

  1. Ensure the transparency of the negotiating process, including through publication of the preliminary draft FTAA Agreement in the four official languages as soon as possible and the dissemination of additional information on the progress of negotiations ;( Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Foster through their respective national dialogue mechanisms and through appropriate FTAA mechanisms, a process of increasing and sustained communication with civil society to ensure that it has a clear perception of the development of the FTAA negotiating process; invite civil society to continue to contribute to the FTAA process; and, to this end, develop a list of options that could include dissemination programs in smaller economies, which could be supported by the Tripartite Committee or other sources; (Plan of Action Québec, 2001).

  1. Since our meeting in Miami, we have seen real economic benefits in the Americas resulting from more open trade, transparency in economic regulations, sound, market-based economic policies, as well as efforts by the private sector to increase its competitiveness. Even as countries in our region have been tested by financial and other economic pressures, and as countries in other regions have experienced serious economic setbacks, the overall course in the Americas has been one of faster economic growth, lower inflation, expanded opportunities, and confidence in facing the global marketplace. A major reason for this positive record has been our countries´ steadfast and cooperative efforts to promote prosperity through increased economic integration and more open economies. New partnerships have been formed and existing ones strengthened and expanded. A positive role is being played by sub-regional and bilateral integration and free trade agreements. We are confident that the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) will improve the well-being of all our people, including economically disadvantaged populations within our respective countries (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. The FTAA negotiating process will be transparent, and take into account the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas, in order to create the opportunities for the full participation by all countries. We encourage all segments of civil society to participate in and contribute to the process in a constructive manner, through our respective mechanisms of dialogue and consultation and by presenting their views through the mechanism created in the FTAA negotiating process. We believe that economic integration, investment, and free trade are key factors for raising standards of living, improving the working conditions of the people of the Americas and better protecting the environment. These issues will be taken into account as we proceed with the economic integration process in the Americas (Declaration of Santiago, 1998).

  1. We instruct our Ministers Responsible for Trade to take the following actions:

    1. Initiate the negotiations for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), in accordance with the principles, objectives, structure, modalities and all other decisions as set out in the San José Ministerial Declaration, by convening the Trade Negotiations Committee no later than June 30, 1998, and the Negotiating Groups no later than September 30, 1998.

    2. Exercise the ultimate oversight and management of the negotiations.

    3. Achieve concrete progress in the negotiations by the year 2000 and agree on specific business facilitation measures to be adopted before the end of the century.

    4. Ensure that the negotiating process is transparent and takes into account the differences in the levels of development and size of the economies in the Americas, in order to create opportunities for the full participation of all countries, including the smaller economies.

    5. Conduct the negotiations in such a manner as to build broad public understanding of and support for the FTAA, and to consider views on trade matters from different sectors of our civil societies, such as business, labor, consumer, environmental and academic groups, presented to the committee of Government representatives established at the Fourth Meeting of Trade Ministers in Costa Rica (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Strengthen banking supervision in the Hemisphere through: implementation of the Basle Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision; training programs to strengthen supervisory capacity; and establishment of sound, high-quality reporting and disclosure standards for banks, and creation of a Working Group to assist countries in this process (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  1. Improve banking and securities market clearance and settlement systems in the Hemisphere, in order to facilitate the transparency, efficiency and security of internal and cross-border transactions (Plan of Action Santiago, 1998).

  • 9.7 Transparency in, and a clear understanding of, the subregional and bilateral agreements achieved to date among the nations in the Hemisphere are critical for advancing trade and investment integration in the Americas. We will direct the OAS Special Committee on Trade, with the support of the IDB, ECLAC, and other specialized regional and subregional organizations, to assist in the systematization of data in the region and to continue its work on studying economic integration arrangements in the Hemisphere, including brief comparative descriptions of the obligations in each of the Hemisphere's existing trade agreements. We will further direct the Special Committee on Trade to prepare a report of its work by June 1995 for the meeting of ministers. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 10.1 The availability of capital at competitive rates is essential to finance private sector investment--a vital ingredient in economic development. Developing, liberalizing and integrating financial markets domestically and internationally, increasing transparency, and establishing sound, comparable supervision and regulation of banking and securities markets will help to reduce the cost of capital by enhancing investor and depositor confidence. (Plan of Action Miami, 1994).

  • 10.3 Prepare, in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank, a comprehensive list of national capital regulations in order to promote transparency and support the discussions in the Committee on Hemispheric Financial Issues.(Plan of Action Miami, 1994).



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