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APEC participants adopt declaration on advancing free trade zone

The leaders understand that a free trade zone agreement is a major instrument to further deepen APEC's regional economic integration agenda

LIMA, November 21. /TASS/. Participants in the 2016 summit conference of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have reaffirmed their intention to continue formation of a free trade zone in the area.

They stated their plans in a declaration issued at the end of the APEC summit in Peru on Sunday.

"Following the path established in the Beijing Roadmap for APEC’s Contribution to the Realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) in 2014, we reiterate our commitment to the eventual realization of the FTAAP as a major instrument to further deepen APEC's regional economic integration agenda," the declaration said.

"With this vision, we endorse the Collective Strategic Study on Issues Related to the Realization of FTAAP and its Executive Summary. Furthermore, we endorse the Recommendations of the Study as the Lima Declaration on FTAAP (annexed to this Declaration)," the participants in the summit said.

"We commend APEC officials for their hard work on finalizing the Collective Strategic Study," the document indicated. "We instruct officials to implement the Lima Declaration on FTAAP, in particular to develop, and implement work programs towards the realization of the FTAAP. We look forward to regular progress reports on implementation of these work programs and APEC’s collective readiness to build capacity to realize the FTAAP."

"Furthermore, based on the Study and other APEC work as possible references, we instruct officials to consider next steps that can be taken towards the eventual realization of an FTAAP," the APEC leaders said. 


APEC economies will stay committed to the accords made in the format of the World Trade Organization:

"Building on the WTO’s successful Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Conferences and recognizing all the elements contained in the Ministerial Declarations, we commit to continue implementing the Bali and Nairobi outcomes and advance negotiations on the remaining Doha Development Agenda issues as a matter of priority," the document said.

"We also note a range of issues of common interest and importance to today’s economies in the Asia-Pacific region may be legitimate issues for WTO discussions," according to the declaration.  

"Therefore, we instruct our officials to work with a sense of urgency and solidarity with all WTO members to set the direction together towards achieving positive, and meaningful results by the next WTO Ministerial Conference in 2017 and beyond."

APEC and monetary policy 

Leaders of APEC economies will refrain from devaluations of their national currencies and manipulations with exchange rates: 

"We recognize that there has been a slow and uneven recovery from the economic and financial crisis of 2008, resulting in lower global economic growth, volatile financial conditions, lower commodity prices, rising inequalities, employment challenges, and significantly slower expansion of international trade in recent years," the declaration said.

"We remain committed to using all policy tools - monetary, fiscal and structural - individually and collectively, to strengthen global demand and address supply constraints," the leaders said.

They reaffirmed the important role of "mutually-reinforcing policies to buttress our efforts to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth."

"We reaffirm our previous commitments on monetary and exchange rate policies," the declaration said. "We will refrain from competitive devaluation, resist all forms of protectionism and not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes."

"We reiterate that excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability," they said.