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APEC Focuses On Trade And Investment

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

06 April 2012

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is moving ahead with cooperative efforts to evaluate and identify initiatives to support freer, faster and more beneficial trade in the region that will lead ultimately, it is hoped, to a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

Concluding its recent meetings in Singapore, the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment and related policy groups met for the second time this year with a focus on APEC 2012 priorities, specifically to foster regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, establish reliable supply chains, expand regulatory convergence and cooperation, and foster innovative growth.

The Committee’s meetings followed those of APEC’s Business Advisory Council, in February this year, which had also focused on taking further steps towards realizing the goal of an integrated Asia Pacific economy, and on liberalizing and facilitating trade and investment, leading ultimately to an FTAAP. Recommendations are to be developed and presented to APEC Leaders in Vladivostok in September 2012.

The Committee now confirmed that APEC member economies are examining mechanisms to better chart their progress toward realizing the goal of free and open trade and investment in the region.

Delegates at the meetings noted progress on the implementation of the work programme on next-generation trade and investment issues endorsed last year by APEC Economic Leaders, particularly policies related to innovation and trade, and participation of small and medium size enterprises in global production chains.

“APEC members clearly remain united in their desire to build on measures that drive forward trade and investment and are critical to bringing our region closer together to power economic activity that spurs more robust, sustainable growth and prosperity,” said Monica Contreras, the Committee’s chair.

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