APEC Adopts E-Strategy to Further Goals

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) yesterday endorsed an e-APEC strategy for the development of a digital society in the Asia-Pacific region that will help create an environment for strengthening market structures and institutions within the APEC economies.

This was one of several accomplishments to facilitate long-range goals -- such as narrowing the “digital divide” among member economies -- achieved by a gathering of senior officials representing all the APEC 21 member nations, Wang Guangya, SOM chairman and Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs, told a press conference last night on the second day of the Oct. 15-21 APEC summit in Shanghai.

The SOM meeting ended yesterday one day ahead of schedule.

Senior officials also discussed a statement on anti-terrorism that condemns the terrorist attack of September 11 on the United States and expresses the willingness of APEC countries to cooperate against terrorism, Wang said.

Other agreements mentioned by Wang as being approved at the meeting included the Shanghai Accords with its commitment to the Bogor Goals through which developed and developing economies aim to achieve trade and investment liberalization by 2010 and 2020 respectively.

Major achievements of previous APEC meeting also were reviewed, Wang said, with an emphasis in discussion on responsive strategies to combat the global economic slowdown and on the encouragement for new rounds of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.

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’s 21 members include Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; 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.

(china.org.cn by Guo Xiaohong 10/16/2001)

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