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APEC to strengthen institutional function
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14:55, September 06, 2007

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is to strengthen its institutional base, increasing membership contributions and pointing a fixed-term Executive Director at the Secretariat.

As one of the measures in reform to ensure APEC's institutional effectiveness and responsiveness, the membership contributions will be increased by 30 percent from 2009, said a statement issued at the end of the APEC Ministerial Meeting here on Thursday.

The two-day meeting was to prepare for the annual APEC Economic Leaders Meeting scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

According to the statement, the ministers recognized the efforts to strengthen APEC's operational capacity, including the appointment of a Chief Operating Officer in 2007.

They also agreed to consider the appointment of a fixed-term Executive Director and instruct officials to develop proposed conditions, responsibilities and accountability mechanisms for the ministers to consider in 2008.

Meanwhile, the ministers agreed to establish a Policy Support Unit attached to the secretariat. The unit will provide analytical capacity, policy support and assist in coordinating related capacity building for APEC's trade, investment and economic reform agenda and other activities.

The ministers said they will examine ways to reduce the cost to host economies, including through holding more meetings at the APEC Secretariat in Singapore.

Founded in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies, APEC has become a formidable regional forum acting as the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic and technical cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC currently has 21 members, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Source: Xinhua

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