Last weekend, the Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) met to discuss economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region in light of the worldwide financial crisis.
The conversation focused on developing balanced, inclusive, and sustainable growth. To achieve this end, the Leaders are looking to foster structural reforms in areas like infrastructure development and social security. They aim to allocate the benefits of growth across the population by promoting small businesses, job creation, and women’s education through income supplements and short-term social safety nets. In making these reforms, the leaders will take into account sustainability and work to make green technologies available.
The Leaders have maintained their definitive rejection of protectionism and are working to eliminate trade barriers. They are hoping for a successful conclusion to the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda by early 2010. Exploration continues on the prospect of a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), and APEC hopes to achieve regional trade integration by working on liberalization “at,” “behind,” and “across” the border, particularly in areas like supply chain connectivity and intellectual property rights.
The Leaders will also work to ensure human security and governmental transparency. In terms of security, they are particularly concerned with protecting the food supply from terrorist interference and stopping the spread of H1N1 and other global pandemics like AIDS. With regard to transparency, they are asking governments to ratify the UN Convention against Corruption.
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