APEC SOM I Unveils APEC Annual Meetings

A series of activities of Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) for the year 2001 were unveiled in Beijing Monday, with the opening of the first Senior Officials Meeting (SOM I) of the 13th Ministerial Conference of APEC.

According to sources with SOM I, about 20 APEC meetings or activities with diverse focuses are scheduled within this year. Following SOM I, another three SOMs will be held in May, August and October, respectively, in Shenzhen, Dalian and Shanghai.

A high-level meeting on human capacity building is scheduled for Beijing in May. While the meeting of APEC trade ministers and that of APEC ministers of small and medium enterprises are due in Shanghai in June and August respectively, an APEC finance ministers meeting will be convened in September in Suzhou.

At the same time, various special meetings or expositions will also be held. The 9th APEC informal leadership meeting scheduled for Shanghai late October is expected to bring about a climax, at which leaders or participants from the 21 economies of APEC will discuss about issues like free trade and economic and technical cooperation in the region.

Prior to the leadership meeting, October will also see the convening of the APEC ministerial meeting, the CEO summit, and the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting. Founded in 1989, APEC stands as the highest level economic cooperation forum of the Asia-Pacific region, covering cooperative fields such as free trade and investment, economic and technical cooperation, dialogue on macro-economic policies.

The organization so far has 21 members -- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

(Xinhua 02/12/2001)

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