Sunday, November 15, 2009

APEC Leaders Adopt Firm Stand To Revive World Economy: Says Najib

SINGAPORE, Nov 15 (Bernama) -- The Asia-Pacific Economies Leaders' Meeting (AELM) has taken a "firm and concrete" stand to revive the sluggish world economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Sunday.

He said leaders of the 21 Apec-member economies strongly rejected any move towards trade protectionism and want the Doha Round trade negotiations to be concluded by end of next year.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of the two-day AELM, Najib said the leaders also agreed to coordinate their actions in efforts to develop the regional economy to be more sustainable, inclusive and balanced.

"The leaders want to see this region enjoying balanced and open development, having social safety net, progress in the growth of small and medium enterprises and physical development that can be enjoyed fairly and justly by the people in this region," he said.

The AELM also deliberated on climate change as it is related to disasters that can happen at any time and to face them all the economies agreed to help in disaster relief operations.

On initiatives to consolidate regional economies, Najib said Apec leaders agreed to pursue efforts to lead their economies towards that objective.

"Even now there are already initiatives by a new group called Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which aspires to further expand the free trade area," he said.

TPP, a collaborative initiative among Brunei, Singapore, Chile and New Zealand, has now gained the attention of the United States, Australia, Peru and Vietnam.

In this regard, Najib said as there were more and more groups such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), Asean 3, Asean 6 and now TPP, concerted efforts must be made to harmonise their roles towards one main objective -- expand free trade area.

The two-day AELM, which began yesterday, was chaired by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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