APEC Leaders Issue Singapore Declaration Advocating Free and Open Trade and Investment
Participating leaders take group photo wearing traditional Singaporean Apparel
On November 15, 2009, the 17th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting issued the Singapore Declaration, saying that APEC’s common goal remains the same – to support growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, through free and open trade and investment.
The Declaration of the 17th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting - Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region includes promoting sustainable growth, resisting protectionism, supporting the multilateral trading system, accelerating regional economic integration, strengthening economic and technological cooperation, enhancing human security, fighting corruption, improving governance and transparency and strengthening APEC.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, the host country of APEC, said during the Declaration announcement ceremony that to lead global economic recovery the Asia-Pacific region should not return to the old path of “conventional growth” and APEC needs new growth strategy featured by balanced, inclusive and sustained development. Such a growth pattern will ensure the lasting economic recovery, create job opportunities and benefit the people.
According to the Declaration, APEC economies will maintain their economic stimulus policies until a durable economic recovery has clearly taken hold. They will work together to strengthen the momentum towards strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth, as set out at the recent G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh and put in place next year a comprehensive long-term growth strategy.
As to the multilateral trading system, APEC leaders reaffirmed efforts to conclude the Doha Round negotiations in 2010 and achieve substantive progress and their commitment to the Bogor Goals and accelerating regional economic integration.
The Declaration says responding to food security challenges in the region is a major priority for APEC and promises to strengthen health systems and cooperate to prevent and control emerging infectious diseases in the world.
It finally stresses that a revitalized APEC is crucial to meet the challenges of sustaining recovery and to deal with the region’s 21st century economic challenges. To do so, APEC economies must forge a partnership of common interests. The appointment of the Secretariat’s first Executive Director for a fixed term is an important first step to strengthen the capacity of the APEC Secretariat to meet the growing demands of member economies and other key stakeholders.
After the ceremony, APEC leaders held a work luncheon and then closed the meeting. The 18th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting will be held in Japan next year.
Established in 1989, APEC has 21 member economies whose population totals 2.7 billion and economic aggregate makes up 54.2% and trade volume 44% of world’s total. APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is the highest-level event of the organization. Since 1993, the meeting has been held annually among its members in rotation.