Rising protectionism "was seen as the top risk to growth of the Asia-Pacific region," said an annual survey report released here Tuesday on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) senior officials' meeting.
The report, "State of the Region 2017-2018" released by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), urged the APEC economic leaders to address the emergence of anti- globalization and anti-trade sentiments in the region ahead of the APEC economic leaders' meeting slated for Friday and Saturday.
APEC can address the emergence of doubts about the benefits of globalization by complementing its work on trade with an equally robust work on social policies such as education, social safety nets and labor market policies, said a press release on the report.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the APEC Policy Support Unit stated that although trade was improved in the Asia-Pacific region, restrictive measures in trade and investment are on the rise, giving credence to concerns about an increasingly protectionist policy trend worldwide.
Tang Guoqiang, an international co-chair of PECC, told Xinhua that the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) will provide an institutional guarantee for the regional open economy, adding that the FTAAP is a strategical choice for the long-term prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region against the backdrop that some economies have already adopted measures of trade protectionism.
Tang added that in addition to other pathways and initiatives to achieve the FTAAP, the Belt and Road Initiative will contribute to keeping up the momentum on globalization.