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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Removal of Trade Barriers Urged

President Hu Jintao yesterday called for global efforts to turn the Bogor Goals into reality.


"The Bogor Goals set in 1994 constitute a landmark in the building of the Asia-Pacific Community," Hu said at the 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, which started in Busan, South Korea on Friday.


Economic leaders from the 21 APEC economies attended the meeting. On top of its agenda are free trade, combat against terrorism and avian influenza.


"We should not fail to see that not all trade barriers have been removed and that the evolving world economic situation poses new challenges to the development of the region," Hu said.


The Bogor Goals, set in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994, specify the APEC objectives for free and open trade and investment among industrialized members by 2010, and among developing members by 2020.


"To reach the Bogor Goals on schedule, we must consolidate what we have achieved so far and make new innovations on that basis to substantiate the content of cooperation, broaden cooperation channels and enhance cooperation quality," Hu told his fellow APEC economic leaders.


Free trade deal


In another development, China and Chile on Friday signed a free trade agreement, the first of its kind between China and a Latin American country.


The pact was signed by Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and Chilean Foreign Minister Ignacio Walker. Hu and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, attended the signing ceremony.


Both China and Chile are members of the 21-member APEC forum.


The free trade zone will help push bilateral relations in the political, economic and trade fields to a new high, Hu said.


"For Chile, this is extremely important," Lagos said, adding that China has become its second most important partner in terms of international trade.



Under the deal, the two countries will launch a tariff reduction process on July 1, 2006.


In a statement on its website, China's Ministry of Commerce said the agreement would lead to the reduction of tariffs, and enhance cooperation in areas such as small- and medium-sized enterprises, education, science and technology, environmental protection, labor and social security, as well as investment promotion.


The ministry described the agreement as "a new historical milestone" that would promote close cooperation between China and other Latin American countries.


The agreement has 14 chapters and 121 articles on topics such as market access, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, animal and plant quarantine, and dispute settlement mechanisms.


The free trade negotiations were launched by the Chinese and Chilean presidents in November last year when Hu paid a state visit to Chile. Following the one with ASEAN, it is the second free trade agreement China has signed.


(China Daily November 19, 2005)

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