Sunday, September 22, 2019
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YOKOHAMA, Japan, Nov 14 — Government leaders of 21 countries, all members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), agreed Sunday in the Japanese city of Yokohama to refrain from imposing any fresh barriers to trade and investment, or measures to stimulate exports, until the end of 2013, according to a declaration issued at the end of a two-day APEC summit.

The declaration titled “Yokohama Vision” said: “We commit to take steps to roll back trade distorting measures introduced during the (financial) crisis”.

Despite differences among several government leaders over currency policies which saw Asian currencies appreciated against the US dollar in recent months and other issues, several leaders at the two-day meeting appeared to agree on the significant role freer trade can play in sparking growth. They also agreed on the need to reduce trade imbalances and government debt and avoid sharp, potentially disruptive fluctuations in exchange rates, according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

Their commitment came after the Group of 20 major economies failed to make tangible decisions at the recent meeting held in Seoul, South Korea, and decided to discuss details in the first half of 2011.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told Thai News Agency after the APEC summit ended that although APEC members acknowledged satisfactory performances in the past years, certain restructuring especially on facilitation of trade and service are needed.

He said support for free, and qualitative trade — along with fairness and innovation — must be implemented as the world has changed rapidly.

Mr Abhisit also met with his Australian and Canadian counterparts on the sidelines of the summit as well as foreign investors and assured them that Thailand’s economy is on the road to recovery on a sustainable basis.

Both Australian and Canadian prime ministers reportedly wanted trade and investment of their countries widened with Thailand.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly told Mr Abhisit that his country wanted to increase bilateral activities with Thailand as the two countries are going to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations and Canada is also going to celebrate 35 years of relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) of which the Thai kingdom is also a member.

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