Commentary: Asia-Pacific faces historic chance to boost common development

2014-11-05 08:21:55 GMT2014-11-05 16:21:55(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

by Xinhua writer Yang Jingzhong

BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- With Asia-Pacific leaders set to gather here soon for their annual summit, the region is blessed with a new opportunity to further promote productive cooperation and pursue common development.

Themed "Shaping the Future Through Asia-Pacific Partnership," the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting will address three major topics: regional economic integration, innovative development and infrastructure interconnectivity.

This year is of historic significance to APEC's development. Twenty-five years after its founding, APEC now stands at a new starting point to build on past achievements and bring forth a brighter future.

In the lead-up to the Beijing summit, a host of consensuses have already been reached under the premier regional cooperation framework, covering fiscal policy, food security, public health and maritime cooperation among many others.

So far in 2014, APEC members have put forward over 100 cooperation initiatives. With innovation playing an increasingly critical role in facilitating enterprise development and economic growth, China, as the host this year, has held a string of conferences focused on innovation-driven development.

The elaborate preparations have given birth to high expectations. All parties involved need to seize the momentum and join hands to make the Beijing gathering a major milestone in the integration and development of this dynamic region.

For starters, with the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) process expected to be launched, APEC members should strive for tangible progress and hammer out concrete building blocks.

Ten years after it was raised, it is high time that the grand vision was on its way to reality. It will supplement existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the region, minimize the risks caused by overlapping and fragmented free trade deals, and contribute to regional integration and all-win development.

Meanwhile, APEC members need to earnestly carry out the APEC Accord on Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth, which is expected to be adopted at the Beijing meeting and will have a far-reaching impact on the region's future.

Given the enormous development needs of Asia-Pacific economies and the skimpy conditions of their infrastructure, APEC members should also make concerted efforts in improving basic facilities and promoting interconnectivity.

Establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a good beginning. But more should and can be done. China's initiatives of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21-Century Maritime Silk Road serve as good examples and merit active participation of all nations along the ancient trade routes.

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