APEC must focus on liberalizing trade: Australian PM

12:02, November 14, 2010      

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Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Yokohama, south of Tokyo November 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the final day of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC) talks on Sunday should focus on removing trade barriers across the Asia Pacific.

Gillard is in Yokohama, Japan for the APEC leaders meeting which started on Saturday afternoon.

As many businesses were frustrated by different sets of rules and regulations across the region, making it difficult to invest and trade, and Gillard expected the APEC summit to continue its work on trade liberalization.

"This is important for Australia because APEC economies account for two-thirds of Australia's two-way trade in goods and one in five jobs relate to trade," Gillard told Australia Associated Press on Saturday night.

"What I would like to see out of the meeting is that ... we commit to stay the course on trade liberalization and reaffirm our commitment to not succumb to protectionism."

Gillard said examples of barriers that frustrates businesses included different heavy vehicle safety standards, mobile phone global roaming costs and allowing professionals such as accountants to have their qualifications recognized across the region.

APEC accounts for some 44 percent of world trade.

Source: Xinhua


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