APEC leaders converge on economic growth

Updated: 2013-10-08 08:38


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BALI -- Leaders and representatives of 21 Pacific-Rim economies gathered to meet here Monday on maintaining growth and regional integration amid an uneven economic recovery.

Under the theme "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth," the high-profile summit seeks to ensure a sustained economic recovery in the Asia-Pacific as global growth remains subdued and its underlying dynamics are changing.

"In spite of uneven pace of recovery in the APEC region, the APEC economies continue to be a driving force for global growth," said Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in his keynote speech.

According to the IMF, APEC is expected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2013 and by 6.6 percent in 2014.

"At this challenging time, APEC economies should enhance cooperation and partnership. We should redouble efforts to sustain our resilience and maintain our role as the pillar and safety belt of the global growth," Yudhoyono said.

The two-day leaders meeting, as the highlight of the APEC week in Bali, will underline three priorities related to the attainment of the Bogor Goals, the achievement of sustainable growth with equity and the promotion of connectivity.

Created to build a region of common and sustained prosperity in 1989, APEC has grown into a 21-member forum accounting for about 40 percent of the world's population, around 54 percent of world GDP and about 48 percent of global trade.

The region has been able to increase trade volume by reducing tariff barriers significantly. "Over the past 35 years since the embryonic period of APEC, average tariff in the region has been cut down by close to 70 percent," the president said.

Since its first convention in Seattle, the United States in November 1993. the informal economic leaders' meeting has been held annually.