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Pres. Lee Urges Cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region

Posted November. 16, 2009 03:54,   


At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore, President Lee Myung-bak yesterday stressed establishing a foundation for organic cooperation between the regional group and the Group of 20 summit.

In the same context, he said, “The G20, a worldwide consultative body, and APEC, a regional one, are mutually complementary. Therefore, the G20 needs APEC’s active cooperation” in talks with the APEC Business Advisory Council.

Nine of 20 APEC member nations also belong to the G20, and the region accounts for 45 percent of world trade and 53 percent of global GDP. Considering the region’s significance, the role of APEC is important in implementing sustainable and balanced growth and preventing the spread of trade protectionism, two key challenges confronting G20 nations.

President Lee also emphasized the importance of trade and investment liberalization and sustainable and balanced growth all throughout the summit.

In the first meeting held under the theme of promoting regional connection, free trade and open markets Saturday, he urged leaders to promptly implement the Bogor Declaration and the Doha Development Agenda. He also criticized trade protectionism and advocated the spread of free trade.

APEC leaders in Bogor, Indonesia, in 1994 declared their commitment to conditions for trade and investment liberalization by next year, yet they have made little progress. In the same context, President Lee urged leaders to strive for a prompt conclusion of the Doha negotiations.

Reaffirming the commitment to those two challenges was also included in the APEC summit declaration.

APEC leaders also decided to introduce voluntary certification of product origin to reduce trade transaction costs for businesses by allowing exporters, producers and importers to draft and issue the certificate of product origin voluntarily.

Seven nations including the U.S., Korea and Australia led the efforts in a declaration of the APEC leaders adopted in addition to that by the leaders.

President Lee also held talks with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Saturday and agreed to cooperate on implementing exit strategies following economic recovery.