The 12th APEC Economic Leaders meeting concluded on Sunday with the top leaders from 21 Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies issuing the Santiago Declaration, "One Community, Our Future," and launching the Santiago Initiative for Expanded Trade in APEC.
The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieving sustainable and equitable growth and reducing economic disparities by meeting the Bogor Goals of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
The initiative has two components: trade and investment liberalization and trade facilitation.
The declaration indicates that the leaders welcome inputs from the APEC business community, including the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and share its view on the critical importance of trade expansion and facilitation.
The leaders also reaffirmed their determination to advance the prosperity and sustainable growth of APEC economies and the complementary mission of ensuring the security of APEC people. They vowed to promote good governance and knowledge-based society.
Chinese President Hu Jintao announced in the Santiago Summit that China will set up an Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Center, providing a platform for Asia-Pacific economies to step up exchanges and capacity building.
He urged APEC member economies to deepen their cooperation in the promotion of an Asia-Pacific Community.
"Common interests and a common future require us to shoulder common responsibility and exert joint efforts," Hu said. "We should grasp the opportunities brought about by economic globalization and the regional integration process, take full advantage of the APEC platform to learn from each other and strengthen mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation to lay a solid foundation for achieving sustainable common development."
Hu also proposed that APEC step up efforts in the energy field, conducting policy dialogues and deepening cooperation among members to improve energy efficiency, develop alternative sources of energy and provide affordable energy products to the poor.
Sunday's meeting was the last event in the weeklong APEC meetings, which also included the Senior Officials Meeting and the Ministerial Meeting, and concluded the APEC Chile 2004 forum.
Numerous bilateral meetings between the world's key leaders were held on the sidelines of the meeting.
APEC members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei,Thailand, the Philippines, the United States and Vietnam.
APEC economies collectively account for 47 percent of world trade and more than 60 percent of global GDP.
The 13th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will be held in Pusan, South Korea, on November 18 and 19, 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2004)