Australian PM Urges APEC Members
to Go on With Business

Australian Prime Minister John Howard urged members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC) forum to go on with business and with life at a time of uncertainty.

Speaking at the APEC CEO Summit, he said the uncertain times underscore the importance of APEC and the need to go on with the business of APEC.

He said the terror attacks on the United States struck confidence, and confidence is needed to return the global economy to a strong growth.

He noted that the current economic slowdown set back the regional recovery that was under way. "The terrorist attacks and the diminished confidence flowing from them are another blow," he added.

He praised the APEC for making a vital contribution by creating a more certain and open environment for trade and investment, noting that APEC economies have more than doubled their exports, created 195 million new jobs and generated nearly 70 percent of global growth.

He said APEC leaders can give "strong and valuable" support for the launch and quick conclusion of a new round of global trade negotiations, as there are great and obvious needs for further global trade liberalization. Protection in rich economies costs developing ones more than 100 billion U.S. dollars each year, he said.

"We must support strongly a new round of trade negotiations. We must develop way for APEC to move forward to achieve its goals of free trade and investment. We must manage as effectively as we can the benefits and the challenges of globalization," he said.

He said together with globalization came real challenges, but the APEC members should not allow themselves to lose sight of the tremendous gains from globalization.

The Australian prime minister is here for the ninth APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting at the weekend.

((Xinhua News Agency 10/20/2001)

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