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Trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will meet in the coastal city of Qingdao on Saturday to prepare for November’s summit.
During the two-day meeting, trade ministers from 21 APEC economies will discuss regional economic integration, innovative reform and infrastructure, according to Shen Danyang, commerce ministry spokesman.
Trade ministers meetings are in preparation for the leaders’ meeting, “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership” to be held in Beijing, 13 years after China hosted the 9th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Shanghai.
Established in 1989, APEC has played a significant role in driving global and regional economic growth. Its 21 members contribute about 57 per cent of the world’s GDP and 46 per cent of world trade.
The annual APEC forum is one of the region’s most important economic gatherings. The cancellation of US President Barack Obama’s APEC summit visit in 2013 had raised doubts about Washington’s declared commitment to the strategic “pivot” to Asia.
In 2013, APEC acknowledged that international trade has come up against numerous hurdles and that the group is working to offset effects of the global recession which began in 2008.
“Global growth is too weak, risks remain tilted to the downside, global trade is weakening and the economic outlook suggests growth is likely to be slower and less balanced than desired,” the group said in the statement.