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Call for APEC Leaders to Lead WTO Negotiations

Business Executives Call for APEC Leaders to Lead WTO Negotiations – Report Now Available


News Release Issued by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC)

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 9 October 2006 -- Senior Asia-Pacific business executives have called on APEC Member Economies to play a strong leadership role in restarting foundering World Trade Organization Doha Development Agenda trade talks.

In their 2006 report to Leaders, the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) identified a series of priority topics which are vital to business interests and economic prosperity. ABAC Members will discuss these issues and call for action when they meet with APEC Leaders in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in November.

In addition to reactivating the WTO negotiations, other business concerns include calming volatile energy markets, and promoting high-quality and transparent trade agreements. ABAC is also encouraging governments to strengthen measures designed to facilitate trade and investment and so make the Asia Pacific region an even friendlier place to do business.

The ABAC Chair, Mr. Hoang Van Dung, said, "We see this as a critical point in the recent historical march to liberalize trade and deliver greater prosperity by improving the business environment and expanding business opportunities."

"We call on APEC Leaders to take a personal interest in reviving WTO talks, and hope they will not limit their efforts to pressuring others but will also look at how APEC Economies can improve their own offers." Mr Dung said.

"While we are generally optimistic about the regional economy, we cannot be complacent or take for granted continued strong economic growth. Our regional economy faces looming challenges in the form of macroeconomic imbalances, volatile energy markets, possible health and security risks, and increasing volatility in financial markets."

Mr Dung added, "We are concerned that continued delay in concluding the Doha Round negotiations, and the lack of members’ commitment that this implies, could significantly increase the risks to our economies of other negative economic influences."

The ABAC recommendations provide a number of ideas from business relating to further improving the business environment, and helping to ensure continued strong economic growth in the region. The recommendations include: strengthening regulatory environments and the adoption of more comprehensive standards, improving transparency and fighting corruption, strengthening financial markets, supporting SME growth, strengthening intellectual property protection, and encouraging innovation.

After Mr Dung presented the ABAC Report to Vietnamese President, Nguyen Minh Triet, the full document is now available for download at: http://www.abaconline.org/v4/content.php?ContentID=3086

Ends

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