SINGAPORE: Ahead of the APEC leaders' meeting in Singapore later this week, a message has been sent by Asia-Pacific opinion-leaders that it is too soon to exit from the stimulus policies enacted in response to the global economic crisis, through a survey released by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) here on Wednesday.
The survey of nearly 400 opinion-leaders from business, government, think tanks and civil society was conducted by the PECC in October and is part of PECC's annual State of the Region report.
Despite a rise in optimism about the economic outlook, opinion-leaders believed "it is not yet time for governments to withdraw the expansionary fiscal and monetary policies of the past year," said Yuen Pau Woo, coordinator of the report and President of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, at a press conference held here.
Among a list of suggested priorities for the APEC by opinion- leaders, "continued action on the economic crisis" was at the top, followed by "regulation of the financial sector," "restarting the Doha process," "climate change and the Copenhagen Deal," and " reducing the cost of doing business."
Looking beyond the crisis, opinion-leaders identified a number of key policies for sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific region, including strengthening financial regulations around the globe, balancing the regional economy and increasing final goods trade among Asian economies.
The APEC Leaders Week kicked off here in Singapore on Sunday, bringing together 21 members located around the Pacific Ocean in an annual event focused on economic growth, free trade and investment.
It is expected that when leaders of the 21 APEC members meet on November 14-15, they will focus on how to secure an economic recovery and fight trade protectionism.