Sat, November 22, 2008
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APEC leaders look beyond trade

2008-11-22 05:58:53 GMT2008-11-22 13:58:53 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Trade is typically the prime focus of APEC, but this time around it may take second place to the slumping global economy.

It will be the the final APEC meeting for President George W Bush, who will soon hand over US policy on trade to President-elect Barack Obama.

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives in Lima, Peru ahead of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, APEC.

Security is tight in Lima , as US, China, Japan and some emerging economy heavyweights will meet only a week after an economic summit in Washington failed to yield a breakthrough on reforming the global financial system.

Analysts say APEC members may push for quick action on a global free trade agreement as an antidote to a looming recession in much of the world.

The United States and other APEC countries, which together account for more than half of global output, are expected to use the summit to rally for a global trade pact under international talks known as the Doha round.

But trade may not be issue number one this time around.

Stanley Marcuss specializes in international trade for the law firm of Bryan Cave.

SOUNDBITE: Stanley Marcuss specializes in international trade for the law firm of Bryan Cave, saying (English):

"The meeting is not about trade, its really about the economy."

Nine members of APEC are also in the G20 group of leading economies. The group did agree in Washington on fiscal stimulus measures to stave off a deep recession.

The ministers meeting in Lima ahead of the formal meeting all say they support recommendations from the G20 group, including more funds for the International Monetary Fund to support emerging economies, and reviews of major global banks.

APEC leaders will meet in Peru's fortified defense ministry and 39,000 police will on hand to prevent an attack by the left-wing Shining Path insurgency.

Heads of state will weigh in on the international financial crisis at the end of their two-day summit Sunday.

SOUNDBITE: Stanley Marcuss specializes in international trade for the law firm of Bryan Cave, saying (English):

"I think there will be a statement about the need to stimulate the world economy, the need to avoid projectionist measures, the need to work in a coordinated fashion and a general support of cooperation, what that will really mean remains very much to be seen."

It will be the the final APEC meeting for President George W Bush, who will soon hand over US policy on trade to President-elect Barack Obama.

(Source: Reuters)

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