DA NANG, Vietnam – The ministers of trade and foreign affairs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam agreed Saturday on a series of measures to implement this year to maintain growth and integration in the region.
The document, agreed early in the morning during the summit that concludes Saturday in Da Nang, focuses on four issues laid down by the host nation at the start of the summit on Monday.
They were strengthening regional integration, the promotion of inclusive and sustainable growth, increasing the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, and improving food security and agricultural sustainability to tackle climate change.
Among the agreements, the ministers called for progress in the Lima Declaration for an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement, and lent their support to enabling cross border e-commerce in the region.
Cross border e-commerce is among the fastest growing sectors in global trade, according to the ministerial declaration.
The ministers in their resolution stressed the need to promote transparent regulations for this sector and more effective protection of privacy.
The declaration also called for promoting education and training to tackle the challenges of the digital era, and implementing a green, innovative and sustainable strategy for small and medium enterprises.
On Wednesday, the United States had blocked the approval of the text of the declaration over disagreement over the language on protectionism and free trade.
APEC is made up of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, the United States, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.