Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Apr 20, 2013 -- (ACN Newswire) -- A series of meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic (APEC) forum to be held in Indonesia this year are expected to give contribution to the continuation of the Doha Round negotiation.

"The agenda of the Trade-Related Ministerial meeting in Surabaya will hopefully set up a stepping stone towards continuation of the Doha Round talks," Wirjawan, chairman of the meeting of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) told media, here, Friday as the two-day meeting of the forum's senior officials (SOM) previously held concluded.

Gita, Indonesian Minister of Trade, also reminded the APEC economies to ensure its movement towards the realization of the Bogor Goals by 2020 when trade liberalization is among the main points emphasized in it.

The MRT meeting on 20-21 April has been preceded by a series of meetings at the level of sub-fora and working groups since April 7, 2013, whose results subsequently summarized in the meetings of the Committee on Trade and Investment, Economic Committee and Sub-Committee.

Earlier Chairman of the APEC Committee of Trade and Investment (CTI) Iman Pambagyo said APEC senior officers have agreed to bring some critical issues related to the DOHA Round talks during the APEC meetings this year.

"In the last nine to ten years after the declaration of the Doha Round, we seem to have been stuck and made no progress. In fact, we are getting closer and closer to 2020 when the free trade and free investment are to be implemented," said Pambagyo, who is also Indonesian Ministry of Trade's Director General of International Trade Cooperation.

Therefore, Pambagyo noted APEC countries will make sure that the Doha Round should continue to progress serving wide interest with fairness and along with economic growth. "The point is that we will start from APEC economic issues related with the Doha Round and give significant impact to it," he said.

According to Pambagyo, APEC will call on the global community to implement trade facilitation as well as fairness for all countries.

Delegates from 19 out of APEC's 21 member economies already in Surabaya are Vietnam, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Chinese Taipei, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Canada, Russia, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

They include Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, South Korea's Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Sang-jick Yoon and Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, Thai Minister of Commerce Piramol Charoenpao, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi, Chile's Vice Minister of Trade Alvaro Jana, China's Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng.

Also, Mexico's Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villareal, Canada's Minister of International Trade Edward Daniel Fast, Russia's Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev, New Zealand's Minister of Trade Tim Groser and Australia's Minister for Trade and Competitiveness Craig Emerson.

Besides them, the Surabaya meeting is also attended by representatives from four organizations, ASEAN, WTO, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the secretariat of APEC.

APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim economies seeking to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.

The second APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) was held in Bogor, Indonesia, on November 15, 1994, when the leaders taking this opportunity to exchange views on where the economies of the region needed to go for the next 25 years, based on the Bogor Goals.

The 'Bogor Goals' of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies was envisaged by the leaders in their vision of the state of the economic and trade for the region by these time frames.

Indonesia holds the APEC chairmanship for 2013 after taking over from Russia last year. The last time Indonesia became the forum's chair was 1994.

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Bambang Purwanto
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ANTARA News Agency
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