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November 15, 2009

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Economy a priority for APEC leaders

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao and other leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group explored ways of reviving the world economy yesterday in Singapore.

Focusing on trade issues, the leaders resolved to give a strong political push to conclude the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations by the end of next year. There was a sense of urgency that as negotiations moved toward a critical stage, strong political will was necessary to break the impasse.

In a robust defence of free trade, APEC leaders also reiterated their commitment to reject all forms of protectionism.

"China strongly supports trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and is committed to establishing a fair, open, equitable and non-discriminatory multilateral trade regime," Hu said.

"We are ready to resolve the remaining issues and work for a quick, comprehensive and balanced outcome in the negotiations at an early date," Hu added.

APEC leaders will continue their talks today, after which a declaration is expected to be issued.

The APEC 2009 summit theme is "Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region."


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