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APEC economic leaders' meeting issues statement on supporting multilateral trading system

(Xinhua)    19:29, November 19, 2015

MANILA, Nov. 19 -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders' meeting concluded here on Thursday and a statement was issued on supporting the Multilateral Trading System and the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference.

"We join in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Asia Pacific has been one of the fastest-growing trading regions, benefiting significantly from the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system," the statement said.

It added that "we reaffirm the value, centrality and primacy of the multilateral trading system under the auspices of the WTO. We will continue to work closely together to strengthen the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO."

The document said that the early entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which was approved as part of the 2013 Bali Package achieved at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, would make a significant contribution to the sustainability of global trade and highlight the value of the WTO to its stakeholders around the world.

"In this regard, we recognize the leadership of APEC Economies, with more than half of them having ratified the TFA to date. We call upon the remaining APEC Economies to do so as soon as possible," it said.

The statement also made pledges against all forms of protectionism, through commitment to a standstill until the end of 2018, and to roll back protectionist and trade-distorting measures.

"We remain committed to exercising maximum restraint in implementing measures that may be consistent with WTO provisions but have a significant protectionist effect, and to promptly rectifying such measures, where implemented," it said.

"We acknowledge that bilateral, regional and plurilateral trade agreements can play an important role in complementing global liberalization initiatives," it added.

As the top-level and most representative cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific, the 21-member APEC has played an important role in advancing trade liberalization and facilitation, promoting economic integration and boosting connectivity.

This year's APEC economic leaders' meetings, under the theme of "Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World", also released a declaration with pledges on developing inclusive economies.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Yuan,Bianji)

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