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APEC trade ministers call for early conclusion of Doha Round

2010-06-07 11:03:36Source:English.news.cnAuthor:

Trade ministers of the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies called Sunday for an early conclusion of the Doha Round trade talks.

The APEC trade ministers made the appeal in a statement in Sapporo, capital of Japan's northernmost Hokkaido Prefecture after a two-day gathering.

"We...express our strong commitment to the multilateral trading system and our unwavering determination to bring the Doha Development Agenda to a successful conclusion as soon as possible, " said the statement.

The eight-year-old Doha Round of trade negotiations currently remain stalled, with 153 WTO members widely divided on complex issues of farm trade and industrial market access.

In a separate statement, the ministers said "significant progress" has been made toward attaining the forum's 1994 Bogor Goals of trade and investment liberalization.

The Bogor Goals, named after the Indonesian city where APEC leaders reached the agreement in 1994, set liberalization targets for developed members by 2010 and for less-developed members by 2020.

Initiated in 1989 to respond to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies, APEC has evolved for the past 20 years to become a major forum and a primary vehicle to promote free trade and cooperation among members in the fields of economy, trade, investment and technology.

The regional economic forum has represented the most economically dynamic region in the world, with its member economies accounting for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, about 54.2 percent of the world's GDP and 43.7 percent of the world trade.