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President of Peru Confronts Financial Crisis

President Garcia of Peru Confronts Financial Crisis with Asia-Pacific Business Advisors

Lima, Peru, November 20, 2008

Addressing business advisors appointed by 21 APEC Leaders, Peruvian President Alan Garcia said yesterday that APEC economies are best positioned to confront the current financial crisis.

According to President Garcia, the private sector and government must work together.

The financial crisis could have a major impact on Asia-Pacific economies which account for approximately 55% of world gross domestic product (GDP) and about 49% of world trade. Emphasizing APEC's original focus on free trade, investment facilitation and regional cooperation, President Garcia said that this crisis will bring about growth.

"Developing economies are dependent on exporting not only commodities but goods and services. The fast pace of manufacturing and trade between APEC member economies will lead to more international growth and global employment," President Garcia told members of the APEC Business Advisory Council who assembled in Lima just prior to the 16th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

"While the European Union is facing serious financial problems, APEC member economies' growth rate is on the rise. The scenario for APEC economies is good.

"Last year, Peru?s GDP grew at 8.9%. In 2008, it is growing at about 9.3%. Peru is an economy that has political responsibility and plays by the rules of the game. Since last year, exports have doubled to a value of US$33 billion. Tariffs on manufactured goods have fallen 9%.

Preparing for a post-crisis situation, President Garcia proposed that Leaders and businesspeople renew their decision to create a free trade area which could contribute to solving the world's financial problems.

"Some countries have a regional interest for instituting a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

"This will be the contribution from APEC to solve the crisis. This is its best instrument to be used. We have 30 FTAs within our economies which is enough of a foundation to enter into a free trade agreement for this important region," concluded President Garcia.

APEC Economic Leaders will meet with the business community at the CEO Summit on November 21-22. APEC Economic Leaders will meet together on November 22-23, 2008.

At the conclusion of the ABAC meeting, ABAC members called on APEC Leaders and Ministers to seize the opportunity to respond to the global economic crisis to chart a course that will set all APEC economies on a path of recovery and renewed growth and development.

The ABAC Chair, Mr. Francisco Raffo, said that ABAC views the strong G-20 commitment to an open global economy as fully consistent with the APEC vision.

"Accelerated measures to deepen trans-Pacific regional integration in an open and non-discriminatory way would also rebuild confidence among business in the APEC region," said Mr. Raffo.

"Work towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific is seen as a means by which this objective should be pursued," he explained.

ENDS

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