APEC SOM II Related Meetings Open in Shenzhen

Related meetings of the Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM II) of the 13th APEC Ministerial Meeting opened in this special economic zone of south China's Guangdong Province here Saturday.

Various committees and forums are expected to discuss the specific work of APEC in their respective fields at the related meetings, which will last till May 31.

The SOM II, to be held on June 1-2, will be presided over by Wang Guangya, vice foreign minister of China and SOM Chair.

Senior officials from 21 APEC members will gather in Shenzhen to continue their discussions on trade and investment liberalization, economic and technical cooperation of APEC, new economy and regional macro-policy dialogue, with the aim of preparing for the 9th APEC Informal Leadership Meeting and the 13th Ministerial Meeting.

The SOM II will also hold a retreat on June 1 to exchange views on issues like how APEC can contribute to the early launching of a new-round of WTO negotiations. China plays host to all the four SOM meetings this year and other APEC-related conferences, in the run-up to the APEC informal leadership meeting scheduled in Shanghai October. The SOM I was held February in Beijing.

APEC, one of the key economic forums in the region, has established a working mechanism ranging from informal leadership meetings to ministerial meetings, senior officials' meetings, secretariat, committees, groups and advisory council.

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

(Xinhua 05/26/2001)

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