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Leaders’ Agenda: action-oriented growth and global recovery

Leaders’ Agenda: action-oriented growth and global recovery, says Putin

Issued by the APEC Secretariat

Vladivostok, Russia, 8 September 2012 – Russian President Vladimir Putin previewed the agenda of the 20th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting being hosted in Vladivostok on Saturday and Sunday in a speech before Asia-Pacific business leaders here on Friday night, calling on “all of us to be action-oriented, focused, courageous and visionary” in joint work to further bolster the region as a driver of growth and global recovery.

“APEC economies generate over 55 percent of global GDP, almost half of global trade and around 45 percent of all cumulative foreign direct investment in the world, but that is not the most important point,” Putin said.

“The most important thing is that the Asia-Pacific region, as a larger region, despite well-known complications in the global world economy, for the past 20 years, has been growing at the quickest rate, increasing financial investment, and scientific and technological potential,” he continued. “This leading role implies shared responsibility.”

Building deeper between the 21 APEC’s members was described as a centrepiece of Leaders’ forthcoming discussions.

“We believe that regional integration based on understanding and which takes into account each others’ interests, interests of partners that are geographically close to us, could play a key role in upholding the fundamental principles of an open market and free trade to ensure dynamic development of the entire global economy,” explained Putin.

“It is exactly at this moment that it’s vital to build bridges between different regions of the world,” he declared. “In that respect, I believe that one of our priority tasks is to make sure that global and regional markets remain open.”

This includes keeping a lid on protectionism. “We can use protectionist measures as tools as medicine, this would help alleviate acute symptoms but it hampers the general recovery of the global economy,” Putin asserted. “It limits trade activity and investment.”

He furthermore called for further liberalization to move closer to achieving the Bogor Goals of free and open trade across APEC economies by 2020, and for APEC members to continue to address ‘next generation’ trade issues.

“We believe that preferential trade agreements, arrangements must be as transparent as possible,” Putin said. “This would help everyone see advantages and drawbacks of effective free trade agreements and those that are yet being drafted and in the future create an optimal integration model.”

He said that other agenda items for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting include energy security, strengthening cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear power, the environment, innovation, intellectual property rights protections and the development of the Asia-Pacific region’s transportation system.

The APEC Leaders’ host also cited food security as another priority focus of their meeting. “Access to food is not merely an economic or social issue,” said Putin. “It is a matter of future for millions of people.”

He emphasized the need for APEC members to continue to engage with the private sector and other international bodies to realize shared growth objectives.

“We should set ambitious goals, we should move forward, responding to the challenges of time,” Putin confirmed. “It goes without saying, that this is the prerequisite of our joint successes,” he said.

“Our traditional theme of APEC is ‘APEC means business,’” Putin said, noting that the word ‘business’ in Russian has a dual meaning of entrepreneurship and action.

Putin will host APEC Economic Leaders here in Vladivostok on 8 – 9 September.

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