APEC leaders seek free trade progress at annual summit

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US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who helm the world’s three biggest economies, are among the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Asia-Pacific leaders gather on Tuesday (Nov 11) for the climax of their annual summit with region-wide free trade the key focus as they try to narrow differing views on how to achieve it.

US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who helm the world’s three biggest economies, are among the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

China wants the 21-member APEC meeting to endorse a stronger commitment to the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) idea, a longer-term concept for the entire region that would build on other free-trade initiatives including the US-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The US has long pushed TPP, which aims for a loosening of trade restrictions, but so far excludes China while embracing 11 other Pacific Rim countries including Japan, Canada, Australia and Mexico.

Some Chinese analysts and state media have framed the TPP as an attempt to check Beijing’s growing economic clout, allegations Washington dismisses.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, meanwhile, champions the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which would bring together ASEAN and six countries with which it has FTAs, including China, Japan and India.

APEC accounts for more than 50 percent of global gross domestic product, nearly half of world trade and 40 percent of the Earth’s population.

Set up 25 years ago, it has long pushed free trade among its members, who have separately pursued bilateral and multilateral deals with other economies both inside and outside the organisation.

APEC summits combine group meetings with a chance for leaders to meet on the sidelines in one-to-one bilateral sessions to discuss issues that affect their direct relations.

Xi and Abe on Monday held the first summit between Chinese and Japanese leaders since December 2011 as they seek to repair relations soured by disputes over territory and World War II history.

But APEC, a consensus-based grouping that has over the years sometimes been criticised as an expensive talking shop, also combines serious policy discussions with pomp and colour.

At Monday’s formal dinner that kicked off the summit, the hosts rolled out a gleaming red carpet for the leaders who arrived decked out in sleek, high-collared tunics, with hundreds of wildly cheering dancers dressed in the costumes of China’s dozens of ethnic minorities outside the venue.

On Tuesday the summit venue moves from Beijing to a scenic lake outside the Chinese capital.

Despite its tendency to paper over differences, APEC’s diversity masks the great power rivalries at play inside it.

Xi offered the world a vision of a Chinese-driven “Asia-Pacific dream” on Sunday in a speech to APEC business leaders, while Obama, speaking to the same audience on Monday, stressed US global leadership, calling his country a “thoroughly Pacific nation”.



Source : Channel News Asia | November 11, 2014

Thomas D’Innocenzi


About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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