Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies discussed how to promote free trade and regional economic integration on November 18 in Port Moresby of Papua New Guinea. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies discussed how to promote free trade and regional economic integration on November 18 in Port Moresby of Papua New Guinea as the United States and China remain at odds over trade and other policies.

Kyodo News reported that the focus of this year's APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby is whether the participants can find common ground in their commitment to fighting protectionist policies.

According to a draft declaration, the participating economies will seek unity in pledging to "fight all forms of protectionism and other trade distorting measures." They also discussed how to develop infrastructure projects within the region.

In addition, the APEC leaders have planned to continue discussing the establishment of a free trade agreement of the Asia-Pacific - a region accounting for about 40 percent of the world's population, about half of global trade by volume and some 60 percent of the world economy.

APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.-VNA