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APEC leaders conclude first day meeting

2009-11-15 12:30 BJT

Special Report: Hu Visits 2 Nations, Attends APEC Summit |

World leaders are in Singapore for the 20th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where the global financial crisis is topping the agenda.

The global economic crisis, the most severe since the 1930s, is the clear focus of this year's forum.

The recovery has been fragile with risks still remaining.

Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese Prime Minister, said, "I believe that APEC should put together a firmly desirable regional economic cooperation and advocate that on the world stage at G20 meetings and lead the world. I think that is a call APEC needs to answer."

Focusing on trade issues, the leaders resolved to inject a strong political push to conclude the Doha Round of WTO negotiations by the end of 2010.

In a clear defense of free trade, APEC leaders also reiterated their commitment to rejecting all forms of protectionism.

Discussions on APEC's long-term vision of a Free Trade Area in the Asia-Pacific region was also discussed.

Leaders agreed that apart from traditional trade and investment liberalization issues, APEC economies also needed to focus on new areas of regulatory reform and connectivity, and on taking a practical approach towards connecting markets.