When leaders from the 21 economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meet this weekend in Hawaii, it is expected that they will come up with concrete measures to facilitate closer economic cooperation, so that the region can contribute still more to the global economy.
The Hawaii meeting, the 19th for the leaders of the APEC economies, comes at a time when the world is facing the risk of a double-dip recession and the European debt crisis is still a significant threat.
Even the most cynical economists will agree that the depth and width of economic cooperation in Asia-Pacific will have a direct impact on the speed and extent of world economic development.
The Asia-Pacific region, despite the fact that it has registered a slowdown in growth, is wielding increasing clout in the global economy. Their economic growth has accounted for 70 percent of global growth in the past 10 years.
If the APEC economies can further their economic and technological cooperation the world will undoubtedly gain a greater impetus for economic recovery and growth. And as the world economy braces for a chilly winter, the APEC economies can only get warmer by standing closer.
In this regard, APEC leaders should do their utmost to reach a broader consensus in their prioritized areas of discussion, including strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade, promoting green growth, and advancing regulatory coherence and cooperation.
Whether the Hawaii summit will prove positive and fruitful hinges on the political will of APEC leaders in initiating new agreements that will not only benefit their own growth but also shore up the global economic recovery.
The theme of the meeting - "Toward a Seamless Regional Economy" - embodies the vision of the APEC economies on furthering regional cooperation. But given that APEC economies are at different development levels and have different speeds of growth, whether they can deepen their pragmatic cooperation will be a real challenge.
In this regard, they should shore up the common ground between them while reserving differences. Protectionism should not be the policy choice for those who are desperate to address domestic problems such as high inflation and unemployment as it will damage the foundations for any deepened regional cooperation, and it will only harm their own growth in the long run.
As a member of APEC, China hopes the upcoming meeting will further promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, push forward economic and technology cooperation, support multilateral trade systems and oppose trade protectionism, so as to inject vitality into the recovery of the global economy.