Connectivity and inclusive growth in Asia-Pacific was the theme of a recent seminar coorganised by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the Boao Forum for Asia in Bali, Indonesia.

The seminar took place within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and relevant meetings that run from October 1-8 in Bali.

It aims to support APEC 2013’s theme of “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth” that prioritises trade and investment liberalisation, sustainable growth with equity and regional connectivity.

At the seminar, the PECC said US and Japanese economies have shown more positive signs and the worry over economic slowdown has shifted from developed countries to developing ones.

Therefore, the council called on developing economies to step up infrastructure development in order to benefit from regional integration in accordance with the goals of accelerating connectivity and expanding trade and investment liberalisation set by regional organisations such as the APEC or ASEAN as well as evolving multilateral trade cooperative mechanisms such as the Trans-Asia Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) of the ASEAN.

Delegates at the event warned that while the Asian-Pacific region continued maintaining its economic momentum, the development gap between regional countries has been widened.

Emerging economies are facing an urgent task to speed up structural reform while pursuing connectivity and integration with other economies in the region, they said.

The PECC laid stress on the need for developing economies to stand ready in term of human resources, training, infrastructure and basic services such as water, hygiene and electricity to extract the rise.

According to the council, the ASEAN has taken the lead in term of both performance and multilateral trade cooperative initiatives over the past three years.

The PECC is a non-government body in Asia-Pacific, serving as a regional forum for cooperation and policy coordination to promote regional economic growth and development.-VNA