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APEC leaders suggest economies to avoid protectionism

2013-10-09 08:18 Xinhua Web Editor: qindexing

The head of states and business leaders in the APEC meetings have agreed that the economies in the world must prevent from exercising trade protectionism, an Indonesian senior official said here on Tuesday.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa told a joint press conference over the result of the summit that it was important for the economies to maintain relations that benefit each other.

"The spirit of liberalization does not stand alone. Almost all of the leaders agreed that we have to avoid protectionism. But the trade liberalization is not sufficient without economic growth with equity," Hatta said.

The economic gap among the economies in the region was one of the reasons why the economies should advance the equity in the growth and fair trade.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the economies should prevent protectionist policies and continue trade liberalization but ensure that the trade relation not only strong but also balanced.

APEC economies have achieved tremendous progress toward achieving the Bogor Goals. But while APEC has reduced average tariffs from 16.9 percent in 1989 to 5.7 percent in 2011, restrictive non-tariff measures, lengthy customs procedures and poor transport infrastructure still pose challenges to trade.

According to the IMF, as a group, APEC is expected to grow by 6. 3 percent this year and by 6.6 percent next year, which is more than twice the world average.

In the past 25 years, average tariffs in APEC have declined by close to 70 percent. The cost of conducting business across borders decreased by two successive rounds of 5 percent tariff reductions, resulting in nearly 59 billion U.S. dollar of savings for businesses.

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