APEC Nations Reaffirm Resistance to Protectionism

At the 17th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Singapore over the weekend, leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation economies declared they are seeking a new growth paradigm and an expanded trade and investment agenda that will strengthen regional economic integration (REI) in the Asia-Pacific region.


In their declaration issued yesterday, the 21-nation group also declared their commitment to keep markets open and refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, and will regularly review their adherence to these commitments.


According to the leaders, the most effective means of dealing with protectionist pressures and delivering a global stimulus package to sustain and secure the group's recovery is an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) in 2010. The group is prepared to exercise pragmatism and all possible flexibility and utilise all possible avenues in order to accelerate the pace of negotiations to secure convergence on a final package.


"We will ensure that economic growth in our region is consistent with sustainable development," state the leaders, adding that a key thrust in APEC's sustainable growth agenda is the APEC Environmental Goods and Services (EGS) Work Programme, under which the group will develop and implement a set of concrete actions to support sustainable growth in the region, advance work to increase utilisation and dissemination of EGS, reduce existing barriers and refrain from introducing new barriers to trade and investment in EGS, and enhance capabilities of economies to develop their EGS sectors.


The leaders also declared their support for the goals of the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth by working together to ensure that their macroeconomic, regulatory and structural policies are collectively consistent with more sustainable and balanced trajectories of growth. The group will also develop macro prudential and regulatory policies to help prevent credit and asset price cycles from becoming forces of destabilisation.


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