SYDNEY -- Trade and foreign ministers and representatives from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies wrapped up their two-day meeting Thursday, announcing plans for greater trade and economic reform and enhanced human security in the region.
The ministers, under the theme of "Strengthening our community, building a sustainable future," reviewed developments in the region and challenges facing the region's future.
Issues of the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, trade and economic reform, energy security and clean development, human security, climate change and APEC reform topped their agenda.
A joint statement released after the meeting said the ministers agreed to continue the support for WTO Doha Round, and recommended that the leaders adopt a stand-alone statement on the WTO negotiations.
For APEC's economic development, they stressed the need to work actively to create greater prosperity in the region through a commitment to trade and economic reform, stepping up the process of realizing the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment within the region.
The statement said the ministers submitted to the APEC economic leaders a comprehensive report on strengthening regional economic integration, including on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific as a long-term prospect.
The ministers held that high-quality and comprehensive regional trade agreements (RTA) and free trade agreements (FTA) can advance economic openness in the region and strengthen regional economic integration.
On the climate change and energy security, they said they are of vital interest to APEC economies. They agreed to address the challenges of rapidly growing energy demand while minimizing environmental effects.