APEC leaders to warn against protectionism
(Photo: apec.org)

Hanoi (VNA) – A draft communiqué on November 12 showed that leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies, plan to warn against the dangers posed by protectionism, and resolve to work toward realising what would be the world's largest free-trade area at a meeting in Papua New Guinea later this week, according to Kyodo News.

However, it seems to be difficult to reach a consensus on that issue as the group's two largest economies, the United States and China, are locked in a trade war over various forms of protectionism.

"We recognise the importance of working towards achieving free and open markets in the Asia-Pacific region," says the draft.

"We support the effective functioning of the rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open, and inclusive Multilateral Trading System (MTS), as embodied in the World Trade Organisation," it says.

The draft both notes a recent pickup in global economic growth, and acknowledges "the role of trade liberalisation and facilitation in achieving sustainable global growth."

But it warns the outlook is "heavily tainted with barriers emerging in new areas of trade growth and the re-emergence of protectionism."

To counter the threat, the leaders will "acknowledge the importance of APEC's regional economic integration agenda, the process towards the eventual realisation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific."

The communiqué is expected to be issued by the leaders attending the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which will start in Port Moresby on November 17.

The meeting will bring together most of the leaders of its 21 member economies, including all 10 Southeast Asian nations, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile and Peru.-VNA