November 22, 2002

APEC Ministers Highlight Health-related Issues

Pacific Rim trade and foreign ministers reaffirmed on Thursday the importance of addressing health-related issues, including food, biotechnology and infectious disease.

The ministers attending the 13th APEC Ministerial Meeting in Shanghai agreed that the food issue should be addressed through rural infrastructure development, promotion in food products trade and application of new technology in food production and processing.

On biotechnology, they stressed technological cooperation and information exchange. to realize the potential benefits of such a technology, efforts should be made in enhancing consumers' awareness, confidence and understanding of biotechnology, the ministers said in a joint statement issued at the end of their meeting.

They commended the APEC Strategy to deal with HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, a program developed within a year. The anti-disease program includes six areas -- electronic networking, surveillance, outbreak response, capacity building, partnering across sectors and political and economic leadership.

(People's Daily 10/19/2001)

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