Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members adopted a joint declaration here on Tuesday that aims to shore up economic development in the region.
Under the theme of "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth", the 21st APEC summit agreed that a strong multilateral trading system is a key driver for economic growth, job creation and sustainable development.
The leaders agreed to fight against protectionist and trade- distorting measures for their impact on weakening trade and slowing down the global economic recovery while recognizing the Doha round of multilateral trade talks is at an impasse.
Regarding the 9th Ministerial Conference (MC9) of the WTO to be held in Bali in December, the leaders acknowledged the urgency to achieve successful outcomes at MC9 which would be a stepping stone to future progress in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations post-Bali and further multilateral trade liberalization.
"We reaffirm our commitment to build on the Bali Package to achieve the full conclusion of the DDA and to continue the negotiations to address the remaining DDA issues post-Bali and continue to respect the Doha mandate and its development dimension, " said the declaration.
The leaders envisioned that the Bali outcomes will encompass an agreement on trade facilitation, some elements of agriculture, and development.
With the APEC economies representing more than half of the world's GDP and 44 percent of the world trade, the leaders agreed to accept their responsibility and stand ready to make significant contribution in ensuring tangible outcomes by delivering an early harvest at MC9.
"We strongly encourage all WTO members, particularly major players, to show their political will and necessary flexibilities in order to bridge existing gaps and deliver positive and balanced results at MC9," the leaders said.
On the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA), the leaders agreed to encourage the swift conclusion of negotiations to expand product coverage before MC9, and also seek expanded membership of the ITA.
The leaders also reasserted their commitment to promote green growth and to seek practical, development-supportive, and trade- enhancing solutions to address global environmental challenges.
Considering the importance of the effective integration of developing economies into the multilateral trading system and to equally benefit from global trade, the leaders welcomed the output of the 4th Aid for Trade Global Review Meeting held in July 2013 and would continue to seek means of ensuring the effectiveness of this initiative.
APEC, a premier economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region, was established in 1989. It has grown to encompass 21 members in the Pacific rim, accounting for about 40 percent of the world's population.