The story appears on

Page A3

November 16, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Business » Economy

APEC promotes free trade as savior

STIMULUS spending and other emergency measures had set the stage for global economic recovery, but nations must push ahead with free trade and investment to ensure growth, Asia-Pacific leaders said yesterday.

The leaders, meeting in Singapore for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, rejected protectionism and agreed to develop long-term strategies that take into account the diverse needs of economies in a region stretching from China to Chile.

Recovery was not yet on solid footing and the region "cannot go back to growth as usual," Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, reading from a joint statement by the APEC leaders.

"We need a new growth paradigm. We need a fresh model of economic integration," they said.

"We will pursue growth which is balanced, inclusive, and sustainable, supported by innovation and a knowledge-based economy, to ensure a durable recovery that will create jobs and benefit our people."

To that end, APEC members pledged to maintain economic stimulus policies until a durable recovery had clearly taken hold.

APEC members must work toward "strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth" with policies that expand opportunities for all, including women and small business owners; take better care of the environment; and promote development while reducing poverty and ensuring security, they said.

Cheaper business

There was no mention of currency rates in the final statement, despite finance ministers' calls for maintaining "market-oriented exchange rates."

A push for concrete goals for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions was omitted from the statement. A previous draft had pledged a 50 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050, but the final communique committed only to working toward "an ambitious outcome" at climate talks in Copenhagen next month.

The leaders agreed yesterday that the summit in Denmark would be merely a way station, not the anticipated endpoint in the drive for a new global climate-change treaty.

APEC, accounting for 40 percent of the world's population and 54 percent of global output, was created 20 years ago to promote trade and integration among Pacific Rim economies.

One key APEC goal is the creation of a free-trade area covering all 21 APEC economies, an ambition that many acknowledge is years away.

There had been concerns that the United States and other nations might turn inward as they grapple with the global financial crisis.

But US President Barack Obama added his voice to call for expansion of free trade rather than resorting to protectionist measures.

Leaders pushed hard for progress on talks to liberalize world trade and supported studies on the benefits of a future Asia-Pacific free-trade area.

They pledged to make it 25 percent cheaper, faster and easier to do business in the Asia-Pacific by 2015.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend