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APEC Leaders Urged to Work for Completion of Doha Round

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Bangkok Monday called on the APEC economic leaders to send "a strong message for support" to complete the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations and help arrange a World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting as soon as possible.

The call was made here by Viphandh Roengpithya, Chairman of ABAC, in a welcome address at an annual interaction with APEC economic leaders, who had just concluded the day-one session of their annual meeting.

Viphandh said that future negotiations on DDA (Doha Round) should be based on a comprehensive basis in accordance with the previously agreed contexts.

"ABAC considers that priority must be given to the unfinished aspects of the Uruguay Round, including agriculture, non-agriculture market access, services and reform of WTO rules in areas such as anti-dumping, and preferential trade arrangements," he added.

He urged the APEC leaders to help arrange a WTO ministerial meeting "as soon as possible" to settle the "parameters" for the completion of the Doha Round negotiations and instruct their ministers to work together to achieve this outcome.

As the private sector arm of APEC forum, ABAC advises APEC officials on the role of the private sector in the broader pursuit for open trade and investment in Asia Pacific rim. It also provides APEC groups with business perspectives on specific areas of cooperation.

In his address on the occasion, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra expressed his hope that ABAC will contribute to APEC's objective of promoting sustainable growth.

"APEC's work and goals are aimed at benefiting businesses of all sizes," he said. "At the same time, we in the public sector also expect the business community to contribute to APEC's objective of promoting sustainable growth."

"APEC's interaction with ABAC puts the public-private partnership into action," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 21, 2003)

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