The current global financial crisis will be the most serious risk facing the Asia-Pacific region in the next 12 months, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) said Wednesday.
The financial turmoil, triggered by the subprime crisis in the United Stated, would affect the economic growth in the region, Yuen Pau Woo, co-author of the State of the Region report, told a news conference in Lima, the Peruvian capital, while releasing the report.
APEC leaders should ensure abandonment of trade protectionism, further opening markets and trade liberalization to reduce risks, he said.
The annual report was prepared by the PECC, a non-government group consisting of 26 member committees in the region.
The report listed the financial crisis and its regional impact, a possible free trade area in the region, the Doha Round trade talks and energy security as the top priorities to be discussed by leaders of the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on the weekend.
APEC members kicked off their annual forum, called the APEC Leaders' Week, in Lima on Sunday with the start of a two-day senior officials' meeting.
Peruvian Deputy Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez said earlier this week that APEC leaders would issue a special statement on the ongoing global financial crisis.
The PECC, founded in 1980, is the only non-government official observer of APEC, according to the organization.