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APEC economies to emerge stronger & more dynamic from crisis

22
Jul '09
At the close of a two-day meeting (21 – 22 July) in Singapore, APEC Trade Ministers outlined their response to issues affecting economic recovery and long-term growth.

Statement on Addressing the Economic Crisis and Positioning for Recovery Issued by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade:

We, the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade, met in Singapore from 21-22 July 2009.

The global economy appears to be bottoming out, but the outlook remains uncertain and significant risks remain. We will therefore persist with efforts to support growth and facilitate trade and investment flows, keep our markets open, and give a new push to concluding the Doha Round. Looking beyond the current economic crisis, we will accelerate our efforts to integrate the Asia-Pacific region, and ensure that our growth strategies are inclusive and sustainable.

Addressing the Economic Crisis
Sustaining trade and investment flows remains critical to our future prosperity. The main threats to a revival of trade flows include rising protectionist pressures, and continued delay in concluding the Doha Round.

Concluding the Doha Round by 2010 will be the most effective way to resist protectionism and strengthen the multilateral trading system. We had frank and open discussions on some of the key outstanding issues and the steps necessary to accelerate the end-game negotiations of the Doha Round for the second half of 2009. We will:

• build on the good progress already made in the negotiations in 2008 and the positive political momentum created by recent Ministerial gatherings;
• accelerate efforts to conclude modalities in Agriculture and NAMA, including Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) and Sectorals, while advancing, in parallel, the negotiations in Services, Rules, Trade Facilitation and all other remaining issues;
• utilise all possible avenues of engagement, including bilateral and plurilateral, to encourage greater transparency and understanding of what is on the table to fill the remaining gaps in the negotiations as soon as possible;
• provide clear political direction to senior officials to exercise maximum flexibility in the negotiations; and
• direct senior officials to meet in Geneva to ensure direct engagement within the WTO so that progress can be made prior to the Pittsburgh Summit in September 2009.

APEC Leaders undertook in November 2008 to refrain till end 2009 from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services, imposing new export restrictions, or implementing WTO inconsistent measures in all areas, including those that stimulate exports. With this in mind, we discussed the specific trade, fiscal and monetary measures undertaken by APEC economies since the outbreak of the crisis, based on reports from the WTO and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). We agree to:

• design our policy responses to the crisis, including fiscal policy and action in support of the financial sector, in a manner that minimises distortion to trade and investment;


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