APEC bids to unlock stalled world trade talks
Updated: 2006-11-13 08:34
HANOI, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Asia-Pacific economies will try to help revive
world trade talks and look for ways to combat counterfeit and pirated goods at
this week's APEC meetings in Vietnam, officials said on Sunday.
officials said they were examining the "spaghetti bowl" of free trade agreements
among the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group members to ensure
they do not unduly increase transaction costs for businesses.
so-called Doha round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks collapsed in July
amid disagreements over subsidies and tariffs for farm goods.
lead the way for all members of the WTO to reignite negotiations and conclude
the Doha Development Agenda next year," said Le Cong Phung, the deputy foreign
minister of Vietnam, which is hosting the annual leaders' week.
can identify a way forward, this path will most likely be suitable to the
broader WTO membership."
The Doha Round has been touted since 2001 as a
way to boost the world economy and fight poverty.
An APEC statement said
senior officials discussed "unlocking stalled WTO negotiations, the adoption of
APEC's model for free trade agreements and guidelines to secure supply chains
against counterfeit and pirated goods".
Senior officials will meet again
on Monday to set the agenda for a ministerial discussion this week that will
culminate in a summit of presidents and prime ministers on November 18 and 19 in
the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.
APEC, which was established in 1989, says
its members account for about 40 percent of the world's population, 56 percent
of world GDP and about 48 percent of world trade. The group includes the major
economic powers of the United States and China.
The conference, held in
an imposing new glass and concrete $260 million National Convention Centre in a
suburb of Hanoi, is the biggest international event hosted in the history of
Hanoi won approval on November 7 to become a WTO member by the
end of the year, part of the Southeast Asian country's 20-year long transition
to capitalism from a centrally-planned economy.
With gross domestic
product growth of 8.2 percent expected this year, Vietnam is APEC's
second-fastest growing economy after China.
APEC comprises Australia,
Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea,
Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia,
Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and
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