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1st SOM of 2005 APEC Opens One-day Meeting in Seoul

The First Senior Official Meeting (SOM) of the 2005 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) kicked off its one-day official meeting Friday in Seoul.

Delegates from the 21 APEC members gathered in Seoul's Shilla Hotel to attend the first SOM, whose theme is "Towards One Community: Meet the Challenge, Make the Change".

The first SOM and its related meetings of APEC are convened to make preparations for the ministerial and leaders meetings that will take place later this year.

South Korean Ambassador Kim Jong-hoon to the APEC presided over Friday's meeting and delivered a speech to welcome the delegates. Moreover, South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon also addressed at the beginning of the meeting.

There are two plenary sessions of the first SOM in which member delegates will seek to find common ground on issues that will later be presented to ministerial and leaders' meeting of the 2005 APEC, according to agenda of the SOM.

2005 APEC Economic Leaders Meeting was scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea in November.

Meetings of Ministers Responsible for Trade and Finance Ministers' Meeting within the 2005 APEC framework are to be held in Jeju Island in South Korea, respectively, in this June and September, according to a schedule distributed by the 2005 APEC secretariat.

APEC was formed in 1989 to facilitate economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

(Xinhua News Agency March 4, 2005)

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