Preparations for APEC Leaders' Meeting Proceeding Orderly: Official

Preparations for the Economic Leaders’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), scheduled in Shanghai in October, is proceeding in an orderly way, said vice-foreign minister Wang Guangya Sunday.

In an exclusive Xinhua interview, Wang, also chair of the APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM), said that China is confident in doing a good job in organizing the series APEC meetings this year, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM) in particular, so as to make its due contribution to promoting economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Wang said that the Chinese government attaches importance to APEC meetings this year. President Jiang Zemin and other leaders have made important instructions, on many occasions, on preparations for the meetings.

To date, various APEC meetings, such as SOM I in Beijing, SOM II in Shenzhen and APEC foreign trade ministers' meeting in Shanghai, have been widely acclaimed.

Wang defined the AELM and APEC 13th Ministerial Meeting, scheduled in Shanghai, as the key to the success of all APEC meetings, and China has made full preparations to ensure the success of the meetings.

"We have made some substantial achievements and progress in trade and investment liberalization as well as in economic and technological cooperation among APEC economies," he said.

"We have gained experience from various APEC meetings held in the first half of this year. Various departments, especially those in Shanghai, have been well prepared for the smooth operation of the meetings," he noted.

Wang believes that all the APEC meetings will turn out to be a success and will yield abundant results.

APEC SOM III is scheduled for August 23-24 in Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China, when senior officials from all 21 member economies discuss a series of issues under the theme: "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century, Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation." SOM III is aimed to prepare for AELM and the 13th APEC ministerial meeting.

At the retreat due on August 22, APEC senior officials will exchange views on leaders' declaration, results of this year’s meetings and proposals of relevant APEC member economies, based on already-convened APEC meetings. APEC Member economies hold that as the most important organization for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC is beneficial to maintaining peace and stability in the region, to promoting economic growth of APEC economies, and to developing good bilateral relations among them, Wang said.

APEC also has to deal with the opportunities and challenges following the economic globalization and new economy, Wang said, noting that through SOM I and SOM II, APEC economies have reached consensus on a series of issues, such as initiating new round of talks of the World Trade Organization (WTO), capacity building and enhancing economic and technological cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency 08/19/2001)

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