HANOI -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday called for bigger APEC role
in backing multilateral trading system and enhancing economic and technical
cooperation in the region and the world as a whole.
Chinese President Hu Jintao addresses the 14th APEC Economic
Leaders' Meeting held in Hanoi, Nov. 18, 2006. [Xinhua]
President Hu made the call in his speech at the 14th Economic
Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) that is
going on in Hanoi.
In his address, Hu said, in keeping with the principle of consensus,
voluntarism and gradual progress, the 21-member APEC has conducted fruitful
exchange and cooperation on major economic issues that are of common interest to
its members and has boosted the economic growth in the region and among APEC
But he stressed in a new international and regional environment, APEC should
play a bigger role in three areas
First, Hu said, APEC should support the development of the multilateral
trading system, which is crucial to the economy of the Asia-Pacific and world at
Hu highlighted the Doha Round of negotiations, saying APEC has played a major
role in promoting the growth of the multilateral trading system and the current
meeting should send a clear message to the world that Doha negotiations should
be resumed speedily and major parties concerned work in a responsible and
flexible manner to bridge their gaps.
Hu also said
APEC should play a bigger role in efforts to meet the Gogor Goals, which the
president said chart the future course of APEC and are a criterion for gauging
the performance of the organization.
Moreover, President Hu called for more efforts of the regional bloc in
enhancing economic and technical cooperation.
Hu said many APEC members lack adequate experience and capability to respond
to some new problems and challenges emerging in recent years in areas of
financial security and public health security.
The bloc should increase input and make more effective cooperation to help
developing members of APEC improve their international competitiveness and their
capacity to meet these challenges, Hu added.
He announced China will contribute 2 million U.S. dollars to the APEC Support
Fund to strengthen economic and technical cooperation in the region.
Other leaders of APEC members in their speech also urged resumption of the
Doha Round of negotiations as early as possible and enhancement of multilateral
In another development, during the meeting, the leaders discussed the
arrangement of regional trade, agreeing that related arrangement has played a
positive role in promoting regional economic development and economic and trade
They also exchanged views on plan of establishing an Asia-Pacific free trade
The APEC Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting is the highest-level meeting of
the organization, which has been held once every year since 1993 in its