APEC leaders pledge further economic integration in region, steps toward FTAAP (2)

16:29, November 11, 2010      

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This photo taken on Nov. 11, 2010 shows a general view of the plenary session of the ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Yokohama, Japan. The two-day ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum closed on Thurday. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

The ministers collectively reaffirmed their commitment to improving the business environment in the region as well as pledging to take the necessary steps toward the aspirational APEC- wide target of making it "25 percent cheaper, faster and easier to do business by 2015," and to achieve a five percent improvement by 2011.

In addition, the statement reaffirmed that Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) were of paramount importance to the region's future goals and "play a key role in fostering sustainable growth. "

The leaders affirmed their economies would advance efforts to combat climate change and to protect the environment.

"We reiterated our support for increasing the utilization and dissemination of EGS, reducing barriers to trade and investment in EGS, and enhancing the capabilities of 8 economies to develop their EGS sectors," the ministerial statement said.

In regard to member economies' progress toward achieving the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment, the ministers maintained that whilst significant progress has been made there still remained "further work to be done."

"We had an intensive discussion on economies' progress toward achieving the Bogor Goals and highlighted areas in which more work needs to be done," the statement said.

"We endorsed the Report, and agreed to submit it to Leaders for their review and endorsement."

The ministerial forum maintained that its growth strategy was multilateral and multi-phased and through structural reform will seek to balance growth across and within APEC economies.

The ministers said they wished to ensure that all member economies have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from economic growth and development that prioritizes sustainability and eco-consciousness as well as growth which fosters, promotes and supports technical innovation.

The ministerial statement highlighted the forum was duty-bound to share a sustainable growth strategy throughout the region, in the wake of the economic downturn, and in alliance with other international assemblies.

"In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the global economic recovery remains weak. We believe it is time for us to share a growth strategy to sustain recovery and to lay the foundation for our future prosperity."

"APEC, as the world's leading growth center, is in a unique position to carry out such a task. In doing so, we will work together with other relevant international fora, including the G20. We will also work with ASEAN," the ministers said.

Source: Xinhua
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