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APEC region trade still outperforms world

APEC region trade still outperforms world

Vladivostok, Russia, 7 September 2012 – Trade in the APEC region continues to outperform the rest of the world, weathering global economic uncertainty, according to new APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) research that was presented to APEC Ministers during their meeting in Vladivostok on Thursday.

Growth in the nominal USD value of merchandise trade for APEC economies moderated to 4.6 percent in May 2012, down from 12.1 percent growth in December 2011 due to weak global economic activity and deflated traded good prices. But it was enough to remain at the top of the heap, by comparison. The rest of the world contracted by 5.6 percent in May 2012.

“Though trade performance varied across the region in the first half of 2012, due to weak global demand and sharp falls in commodity prices, APEC members’ economic growth has been fairly robust and resilient” said PSU Director, Dr Denis Hew.

“Foreign direct investment across APEC economies is also encouraging,” he adds. As a whole, the region accounted for nearly half of the growth of global FDI inflows in 2011.

Economic activity in the APEC region is expected to remain relatively robust in the medium-term, despite trimmed growth forecasts caused by increased uncertainty abroad.

Based on International Monetary Fund data, member economies’ real GDP growth is on pace to accelerate from 4.1 percent in 2011 to 4.2 percent in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013, keeping ahead of the rest of the world.

APEC members’ economic growth and their trade and investment flows could be significantly impacted by downside risks related to the external environment. However, there are steps that can be taken to help mitigate the risks, the report suggests.

Proposed steps, supported by the business community, include reiterating the pledge to maintain free and open markets, and renewing the pledge to withdraw existing restrictive measures and resist new protectionist measures to bolster the global economic recovery process.

“APEC should also continue to monitor trade and investment measures by member economies,” Dr Hew said, building on the commitment made by Ministers in Singapore in 2009.

Such issues are being constructively addressed by APEC Leaders, Ministers and Senior Officials during the 2012 APEC Economic Leaders Week here in Vladivostok.

The APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC’s independent research arm, regularly produces trade and economic analysis based on wide-ranging data sourced for all 21 APEC member economies.

Additional details about APEC initiatives can be found at www.apec.org. You can also follow APEC on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

ENDS

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