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In a statement released on Tuesday, 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.
Earlier, Indoesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said better communication and cooperation will allow more people to benefit from the region’s economic growth.
He stressed that more should be done to weather economic turbulence, which has stunted growth in many parts of the world.
“The role of APEC is getting more important. Apart from its crucial role in Asia’s economic recovery, APEC economies continue to become the guard of global growth,” said Yudhoyono.
Meanwhile, a number of APEC members have been securing bilateral trade deals. The Australian prime minister said on Tuesday that he is hoping to sign a free trade agreement with China.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is likely to win backing for a $35 billion oil and gas development project with Malaysia, while Beijing and Kuala Lumpur agreed to boost their military cooperation
Ahead of the APEC Summit, China and Indonesia signed a $28-billion trade deal.
The APEC region is recognised by many economic powers to be a lucrative market. For a number of years, APEC countries have been seen as a dynamo of growth and are considered to be vital to worldwide recovery.
Part of that recovery may depend on what happens at the WTO’s ninth Ministerial Meeting in Bali next December.
WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said ahead of the APEC Summit that its 21 member economies can help bring consensus to the stalled Doha Round of trade talks.
“If the WTO with the help of APEC sees what is at stake then they will achieve it. We all know that we cannot do all this between now and December. What I am positive of is that if we have a positive outcome in Bali then we can impact the Doha round and perhaps beyond that as well,” Azevedo said.