Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Jayant Menon, lead economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), has highlighted the role of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in liberalising the world trade system.

“At a time when there appears to be a backlash against globalisation, with rising protectionism pressures throughout the world, institutions such as World Trade Organisation and APEC have an even more important role to play in ensuring the world trading system remains free and open,” Menon said in a recent interview with China’s Xinhua News Agency.

In a study titled "the Asian Economic Integration Report 2017," the ADB examines recent regional integration trends and says that growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific help improve the region's economic resilience to uncertainties in the global economic and trade policy environment.

Attention has now shifted to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement that the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its dialogue partners are hoping to establish in the next couple of years, he said.

Once RCEP is established, he said the next step would be to broaden it towards greater regional economic integration through the Free Trade Agreement in the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) that includes all 21 economies of APEC.-VNA