APEC leaders announce joint vision for free trade area

Source:Global Times Published: 2010-11-14 16:20:00

Chinese President Hu Jintao (3rd L), Peru's President Alan Garcia (1st L), New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (2nd L), Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (3rd R), Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (2nd R), and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong are seen before the announcing ceremony of Leaders' Declaration of the 18th Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Yokohama, Japan, Nov. 14, 2010.

Asia-Pacific leaders on Sunday pledged to take decisive steps towards the creation of a region-wide free trade area that embraces balanced and sustainable growth, in the world's fastest growing economic region.

Addressing the second session of the 18th APEC Economic Leaders ' Meeting, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that this year marked the deadline for the industrialized APEC economies to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, adopted at a 1994 APEC summit in Indonesia.

"APEC should continue to uphold the spirit of the Bogor Goals, adapt to the changing situation and actively tackle new challenges, leverage its own strengths and further improve itself," he said.

The Chinese leader promised that China will unswervingly develop an open economy and remain actively engaged in international and regional cooperation.

"We will continue to grow our relations with other APEC members, and work with them to build a regional environment featuring peace, stability, equality, trust and win-win cooperation and contribute to the building of a harmonious Asia Pacific of enduring peace and common prosperity," Hu said.

In his final public address as the forum's chairperson before it's handed over to the US president next year, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that the leaders had for the first time in APEC's history formulated a consensual growth strategy for the region that would be "put into practice steadily" as the regional seeks to expand integration and trade liberalization in a 21st century that is "full of new opportunities and challenges."

The declaration, called the "The Yokohama Vision -- Bogor and Beyond," resolves to develop a vast regional free trade zone, that connects major economies such as the US, China and Japan, with some of the fastest growing emerging economies, comprising the likes of Mexico, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Japanese premier said that through rebalancing and strengthening global demand, pursuing sound fiscal management and enhancing finance to key sectors such as infrastructure, small and medium enterprises and green investment, APEC's new vision would lead to increased wealth and prosperity both inside and outside the Asia-Pacific region.

The regions' rapidly growing global economic influence, against a backdrop of sluggish global economic recovery, has also been rhapsodized by other world leaders during the two-day summit, with US President Barack Obama stating that nations should work together to share in the prosperity that will come from expanded trade.

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus