Trade Liberalization, Sustainable Development to Dominate APEC Agenda
Trade liberalization and sustainable development of its 21-member countries are likely to dominate the agenda at this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, an APEC official said here Monday.
"It's always been the backdrop of the APEC agenda," the official said at a pre-summit briefing.
The November 10-16 summit in the Brunei capital of Bandar Seri Begawan will also focus on how the grouping can help kick start a new round of multilateral trade talks after the collapse late last year of the Seattle ministerial meeting, he said.
"This meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the multilateral trading system and how to contribute to (its) progress," said the official.
Ministers attending the ministerial meeting from November 12-13 will be presented with three economic reports highlighting the outlook for member economies, growth forecast and the group's progress on boosting the information technology skills of its workforce, the official added.
APEC leaders are also expected to discuss China's early entry into the World Trade Organization.
US President Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin as well as the leaders of Japan, Australia, Canada, Peru and South Korea, among others, are to attend the summit of 21 nations.
The APEC forum was set up in 1989 to promote free trade and economic coordination in the region.
APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam -- SINGAPORE (AFP)
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