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APEC summit begins with focus on trade, integration

By Wang Fengfeng (Xinhua)

14:31, November 13, 2011

HONOLULU, United States. Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the 21 economies in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) community arrived Friday to convene their annual summit, while trade ministers and foreign ministers from the economies have focused their attention on trade and regional integration in the lead-up to the gathering.

REGIONAL INTEGRATION, TRADE

The ministers on Friday opened their annual meeting chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

In opening remarks at the top of the meeting, Clinton made it clear that the minsters were "trying to generate balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth that delivers good jobs for our citizens; economic, social and environmental progress for our nations; and shared prosperity for this region."

After a day of consultations, the ministers said in a joint statement that they are committed to concrete actions to strengthen economic integration and expand trade. They said they are also committed to promoting green growth and advancing regulatory convergence and cooperation to achieve economic growth in the region.

The ministers also discussed the Doha Development Agenda and disaster resiliency.

LEADERS ARRIVE, TRAFFIC WOES

The ministerial meeting was the lead-up to the leaders' meetings scheduled to be held during the weekend. Prior to the meeting, leaders of the APEC economies descended on Honolulu, creating traffic woes for local residents.

A big arrival of the day was U.S. President Barack Obama in the evening. A number of leaders, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Chile's President Sebastian Pinera arrived Friday morning.

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