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High price to host, protect APEC ’07

The Age, Australia

High price to host, protect APEC ’07

By Brendan Nicholson
National security correspondent

May 11, 2005

Hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in 2007 will cost Australia $216.3 million.

That includes nearly $70 million for the police, intelligence agencies and the Australian Defence Force to protect the leaders of the 21 member countries and thousands of officials from terrorist attack.

The Customs Service gets $200,000 just to store the weapons that will be taken from overseas security detachments as they arrive in Australia.

The September forum will be preceded by up to 100 days of meetings involving ministers, officials and business groups.

The Protective Security Co-ordination Centre gets $38 million for APEC security. It will recruit 30 specialist personnel.

APEC-related meetings will take place in every state and territory.

APEC was set up at Australia’s initiative at an informal meeting in Canberra in 1989 with the goal of enhancing economic growth and promoting a sense of community in the Asia-Pacific region.

It has developed into an important multilateral forum contributing to economic growth and regional stability.

According the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, APEC’s "member economies" represent 2.6 billion people - more than a third of the world’s population, about 60 per cent of global gross domestic product and nearly half of all world trade.

APEC members account for about 70 per cent of Australia’s trade and eight of this country’s top-10 export markets.

The Government says the cost of hosting the forum will be offset by increased economic activity across the country.

As host, Australia will set the forum’s theme’s goals and priorities for the year.

The department says that during APEC’s first 10 years, member countries generated 70 per cent of global economic growth, exports increased by 113 per cent and 195 million jobs were created.

 source: The Age