APEC SOM Expected to Achieve Substantial Progress: Spokeswoman

The Informal Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is expected to end on Monday with substantial progress, said Zhang Qiyue, spokeswoman of the China Secretariat for APEC 2001.

Participants at the SOM are scheduled to continue their discussions on trade and investment liberalization, human resources, economic and technical cooperation of APEC and new economy, and make final preparations for the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the Ministerial Meeting, Zhang said.

The senior officials will also discuss the draft for the ministerial statement as well as the declaration for the leaders' meeting, she said.

All 21 members of the APEC took part in the SOM Monday, she said, adding three observers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) were also present.

Owing to positive results and the cooperative attitude following consultations and discussions in the past two days, Zhang said, most participants felt confident in achieving the pre- set goals of the meeting, which was formerly scheduled for two days.

She said that Wang Guangya, chair of the APEC SOM and Chinese vice foreign minister, is expected to summarize the goals of the meeting at a briefing later Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency 10/15/2001)

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