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APEC Beijing meetings enhance Asia-Pacific partnership

2014-11-12 13:11 Xinhua Web Editor: Wang Fan

The 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, which concluded Tuesday in Beijing, has significantly boosted Asia-Pacific partnership.

It yielded tangible fruits as it launched the process of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), promoted innovation, reforms and growth to seek new momentum for the Asia-Pacific's long-term development and blueprinted comprehensive connectivity in the region.

The leaders also issued the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Declaration and Statement on APEC's 25th anniversary, drawing on past experience to sketch a vision for the future.

The Beijing Roadmap for APEC's Contribution to the Realization of the FTAAP endorsed at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting has become a milestone in the history of the bloc and will move the Asia-Pacific toward economic integration.

In the near future, a free trade area across the Pacific Ocean that covers about half of global economy and trade could become real. If completed, the FTAAP will add 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars of output to the global economy.

Against the backdrop of stalled WTO multilateral trade negotiations and and complicated regional trade environments due to different rules adopted by multiple bilateral and multilateral free trade mechanisms, the FTAAP is expected to become a paradigm of global free trade, which can change the economic landscape of not only the Asia-Pacific but also the world.

A free trade agreement inked by 21 APEC economies will form an interconnected open market and enterprises that seek business opportunities in the region will benefit from trade facilitation and liberalization.

Besides injecting new impetus into the region's prosperity and sustainable development, the 2014 APEC meetings will also provide valuable experience for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and promote the development of global trade.

As an important bloc for regional cooperation, APEC has advantages over the WTO in setting standards in a more creative and flexible way.

Additionally, the 2014 APEC meetings aimed at establishing a landscape of open economy has consolidated the Asia-Pacific's role as the driver of global economic growth, promoted global trade and boosted confidence in improving global economic outlook.

Furthermore, China's proposal to blueprint all-round connectivity is very practical for the Asia-Pacific and connectivity can be realized at three levels -- infrastructure, people-to-people exchanges and mechanisms.

For many emerging economies, realizing connectivity at the first level is most urgent, which explains why one of this year's topics focused on infrastructure. With its rich experience in infrastructure construction, China can help improve its neighbors' infrastructure by expanding investment, which in turn will stimulate their economic growth.

It is worth mentioning that people-to-people exchanges, including efforts to promote student exchanges and travel facilitation as well as connectivity in mechanisms such as that of anti-corruption are also significant for the Asia-Pacific partnership.

In short, as the host of this year's APEC meetings, China put forward a series of practical proposals ranging from the FTAAP roadmap to an APEC connectivity blueprint, from crossing the "middle-income trap" to Internet economy and urbanization.

The successful meetings mapped out clearer goals and blueprints to guide the advancement of Asia-Pacific partnership and economic integration. Good faith, common aspirations and firm actions are needed to create a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

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