Singapore companies want Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders to continue to liberalise and open their borders and reject protectionism, Singapore Business Federation Chief Executive Ho Meng Kit has said.

Ho is one of the two Singaporean members at the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) - a private sector organisation comprising representatives of 21 APEC economies and submitting to the leaders its recommendations on how to improve the business and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the Singapore Business Federation Chief Executive, Singaporean firms also want leaders committed to deep reforms in their economies, thus providing a friendly environment for investors to park their money for the long term.

He added, while APEC companies, including Singaporean, remain confident about the future of the Asia-Pacific region, they hope that the leaders and policymakers "are able to sustain this and not be short-term on their policies."

ABAC will also call APEC economies to continue to support the World Trade Organization (WTO) despite its difficulty in rebooting the stalled Doha Round of trade negotiations.

Ho said that APEC leaders should reap the "early harvest" of what has been negotiated so far at the WTO. They could, for instance, work on wrapping up a trade facilitation package that would simplify customs and other procedures for handling goods at the border. Such an initiative, if realised, would create about 18 million jobs for emerging economies, three million jobs for developed ones, and increase global economic output by some 960 billion USD, said Ho.

APEC's 21 member economies are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.-VNA