APEC Ministerial Meeting Opens in Shanghai

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2001 Ministerial Meeting opened Wednesday morning at the Shanghai International Convention Center.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng co-chair the meeting, attended by ministers and representatives in charge of foreign affairs and trade from the APEC's 21 member economies.

In the two-day meeting, participants will hold discussions on the main theme of Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity Through Participation and Cooperation. Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that the 13th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting, which opened here Wednesday morning, will discuss three issues.

The issues are advancing trade and investment, sharing the benefits of globalization and the new economy, and promoting a sustainable economic growth of the Asia-Pacific Region.

Tang, also co-chair of the two-day meeting, said that the participants will further exchange views on how to contribute to the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference and make specific recommendations on capacity building, citing the individual action plans for trade and investment liberalization, trade facilitation principles and other new initiatives as the main topics.

They will also discuss ways to strengthen the tripartite cooperation among government, business sectors and academic institutions on the basis of the outcome of the APEC High-Level Meeting on Human Capacity Building, Tang said.

"The APEC should establish a more effective participation mechanism in the course of economic and technical cooperation," Tang stressed, adding that participants will offer ideas for building a digital society in the region.

Tang express hope that the meeting will help expand consensus on ways to respond to the challenges facing the global economic situation.

"We should take effective fiscal and financial measures to stabilize the market, restore confidence and facilitate growth so as to enable all the APEC economies to come out, as soon as possible, of the economic slowdown and the shadow of the September 11 terrorist attacks and onto the road to a sustained and steady growth," Tang said.

"I'm convinced that this Ministerial Meeting will produce rich deliverables in the above-mentioned fields to be submitted to the upcoming Economic Leaders' Meeting," Tang said. The theme of this year's APEC meetings is "Meeting New Challenges in the New Century: Achieving Common Prosperity through Participation and Cooperation".

(Xinhua News Agency 10/17/2001)

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