The 16th APEC economic leaders' meeting opened in Lima, the Peruvian capital, on Saturday, to discuss such issues as the global financial crisis, the Doha Round trade talks and food security.
The two-day summit, attended by 19 leaders from member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, would also discuss the APEC regional economic integration, corporate social responsibility, human security, APEC institutional reform, trade and investment, structural reform, anti-corruption and transparency, economic and technical cooperation, and climate change.
"I welcome you to this new Asia-Pacific meeting, I thank you on behalf of all Peruvians for your presence and participation in this country that has a clear commitment with the objectives and ideals of APEC," said Peruvian President Alan Garcia when he opened the first APEC leaders' retreat at the convention center of the Peruvian Defense Ministry.
The leaders, including U.S. President George W. Bush, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao, would examine a report prepared by APEC foreign and trade ministers earlier this week that contains recommendations on the major APEC topics.
They would also have a dialogue with APEC Advisory Business Council members later in the day.
The summit meeting was expected to issue a special statement on the global financial crisis Saturday, and adopt the Lima Declaration on Sunday.
The statement would be a "complement" to the action plan adopted at the G-20 summit in Washington last week to overcome the financial crisis, Peruvian Deputy Foreign Minister Gonzalo Gutierrez said earlier this week.
APEC foreign and trade ministers, who met earlier this week to make final preparations for the leaders' meeting, have called for joint efforts to overcome the ongoing global financial meltdown and revive the Doha Round trade negotiations.
"APEC economies are committed to implementing all necessary measures to bolster the real economy and boost investment and consumption levels in the region," said a statement issued Thusrday by the ministers after a two-day meeting.
"Ensuring a rapid, coordinated and effective response to the current global financial crisis is the highest priority for APEC economies and will be the focus of attention" when the leaders meet on the weekend, the statement said.
The APEC ministers met in Peru during the "most difficult set of economic conditions" since APEC was created in 1989, it said. Established in 1989, APEC groups 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.