Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » Regional integration APEC’s no.1 priority in 2014

Advancing regional economic integration will be the top priority for 2014 of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

This emerged during the APEC Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting last week in Beijing, China, host country of the forum for the coming year.

During the gathering the members acknowledged the key issues facing the association, including “a weak economic recovery, unsustainable growth patterns and a risk of fragmentation that pose serious challenges to regional economic integration.”

The leaders also said they would be addressing the ways APEC could boost the multilateral trading system.

“APEC Senior Officials recognized the historic Bali Package delivered by the World Trade Organization and its potential to provide momentum to the multilateral trading system,” an official statement said.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong, who will chair the APEC China 2014 Senior Officials’ Meeting, proposed “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership” as the theme for the year.

He also announced the other priorities for the coming year. One is to promote innovative development, economic reform, and growth to “build an open and inclusive Asia-Pacific market and fully unleash its growth and dynamism, vitality and cooperation potential.”

“APEC will explore the possibilities of practical cooperation in such areas as promoting reform of the economic structure, advancing innovative growth, deepening convergence of the industrial chain and the value chain, and developing a green economy,” he added.

Another is to strengthen connectivity and infrastructure development to “lay the groundwork for common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“Efforts could enable the Asia-Pacific to take the lead in forming new clusters of growing industries in the world and create new driving forces for economic growth and for the long-term development,” he continued.

“We should meet the challenges head on and be readily willing to take risks as we explore the path of regional cooperation amidst the background of globalization.”

The first cluster of meetings will be held in Ningbo, China, from February 15 to 28, with the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting beforehand in Auckland, New Zealand.


Photo: star5112

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