Leaders from 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) had the first round of the 2005 APEC summit at BEXCO in Busan yesterday. After a focused discussion on economic and trade issues with the theme of the progress of trade liberalization, the heads of state reached an agreement to adopt a statement to conclude the Doha Development Agenda negotiations next year.
The leaders also reaffirmed the Bogor Goals, which set free trade and investment targets in the APEC Region at 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies, and endorsed the Busan Roadmap adopted in the ministerial meeting as a mid- and long-term plan to achieve the goals.
Also, they shared the perspective that pursuit of a sustainable market requires a policy designed to resolve social disparities and agreed to launch related research. Korea, for its part, pledged $2 million for research over three years beginning from 2007.
In his opening remarks, President Roh Moo-hyun, who chaired the summit, recognized member economies efforts to realize trade liberalization and stressed that an open multilateral trade system would be the basis of economic growth for the region.
The heads of states also had conversations with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and reached a consensus to expand free trade and cooperate on anti-corruption measures.
After attending the 2005 APEC IT exhibition at BEXCO, the leaders had a dinner with some 1,000 delegates from member economies.
The leaders are scheduled to have the second round of the summit in the APEC Nurimaru House on Dongbaek Island off the coast of Busan today. In the meeting, they are expected to discuss cooperation on anti-terrorism, joint measures to alleviate damage from avian influenza, and anti-corruption cooperation measures, and announce the Busan Declaration and DDA Special Statement that contain their agreements. That will wrap up the eight-day APEC conference in Busan, which started on November 12.