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FTAAP intended to expand regional growth


11-20-2016 00:39 BJT

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APEC member economies account for 40 percent of the world's population and generate 53 percent of the global economic output. Two years ago, APEC members agreed to take steps towards regional integration with a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. 

APEC first started discussing a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific at its leaders' meeting in 2006 in Hanoi. The plan is to create a free trade zone that would considerably expand commerce and economic growth in the region.

At the 2014 APEC meeting in Beijing, leaders agreed to launch "a collective strategic study" on the concept and report the result by the end of 2016.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called it a historic step reflecting the "confidence and commitment of APEC members to promote the integration of the regional economy".

A report by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council said a high quality free trade area which includes all APEC member economies would increase the size of the global economy by 2.4 trillion dollars by 2025.

By 2015, more than 160 free trade agreements had been signed between APEC members, increasing the risk of fragmentation of economic cooperation.

China's Guangming Daily newspaper says the FTAAP would act as a binder, and promote sustainable and prosperous development in the region.

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