JAKARTA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa said here Friday a resilient Asia-Pacific region would serve as engine for sustainable growth of the world which is facing global economic crisis and other enormous changes.
Marty made the remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Informal Senior Officials Meeting held here today. The meeting, attended by delegates from APEC member economics, was opened to kick-start the 2013 APEC forum preparations.
Indonesia, the chair of 2013 APEC forum, will host a number of senior officials, ministerial-level meetings in several major cities such as Jakarta, Medan, Manado and Surabaya, throughout next year, to peak at the APEC annual summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Oct. 7-8 next year.
"Asia-Pacific demonstrated resilience in recovering and bouncing from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, and a similar resilience is being shown today in the face of the global financial and economic crisis epicenters outside our region," Marty said.
Despite the persistent economic headwinds which are expected to slow economic expansion this year, growth in the Asia-Pacific region remains better than in any other part of the world, according to a new report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Marty explained that the networks of comprehensive economic partnerships and trade agreements among APEC members have got exponential growth this year and a complex web of cooperation has been built.
Set up in 1989, APEC now comprises 21 economies in the Asia- Pacific region, accounting for 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 44 percent of global trade.
Citing the theme of the 2013 APEC forum, "Resilient Asia- Pacific, Engine of Global Growth," Marty said a resilient Asia- Pacific region needs to be brought to serve as engine for balanced, sustainable growth with equity.
Marty added that in order to strengthen its global role and contribution, Asia-Pacific region must maintain the momentum of free and open trade and investment, enhance small and medium enterprises to unleash their economic potential, accelerate economic growth in the region by improving the region's connectivity.
Minster Marty introduced the logo of the 2013 APEC forum at today's meeting.
"The logo, depicting a strong bamboo tree with 21 bamboo shoots, symbolizes the resilience of APEC economies and the firmness of our commitment to serve as a force for sustainable global prosperity," Marty said.