Apec pledges further growth
MANILA: Asia-Pacific leaders pled-ged to work together to revive growth while keeping to a year-end deadline on a key trade deal, as China touted its increased influence in the region in the absence of the United States President Barack Obama.
As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum concluded in Bali, leaders said in a statement they would drive a global recovery and implement "prudent and responsible" policies.
Many of them will now attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei, where China's territorial disputes in the region are set to dominate talks.
The leaders sought momentum for trade deals such as the 12- nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as an uneven global recovery and volatility in financial markets constrain growth. The meeting was overshadowed by the absence of Obama.
Rintaro Tamaki, deputy secretary- general at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said "I hope this does not lose momentum," referring to Obama's decision to skip Apec meeting and the progress of TPP talks.
Global growth is too weak, risks remain tilted to the downside, global trade is weakening and the economic outlook suggests growth is likely to be slower and less balanced than desired, the leaders said.
A slowdown in China and India is reverberating across the region with the World Bank cutting its expansion forecasts for this year and next, putting pressure on policymakers to bolster their economies.
A TPP accord, which involves countries like the US, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, would link an area with about US$28 trillion in annual economic output. Countries are seeking concessions for industries such as agriculture, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak saying some areas of the talks are cause for "great concern" for Malaysia. Bloomberg