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APEC trade ministers sign draft declaration on trade
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Trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economy Cooperation (APEC) forum Sunday ended their 14th meeting in Peru's southern city of Arequipaon with a draft Declaration on Doha Agenda for Development.

The two-day meeting discussed how to contain the hiking prices triggered by the recent food crisis as well as the ways to push forward the stalled Doha round of global trade talks.

In the declaration signed after the plenary session, the ministers agreed that the Doha round negotiations within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) would serve as an important tool to overcome the current food crisis.

The document will be presented to the APEC summit in Lima in November.

Peruvian Trade Minister Mercedes Araoz said that the draft document aimed to give a political boost to the negotiations in the WTO to bring down trade barriers.

She added that once the agricultural issues of the Doha round talks are solved, it will encourage agricultural investments and expansion of new projects to improve the productive quality of the agricultural sector.

The WTO negotiations are meant to lower trade barriers around the world and allow free trade among different countries.

Representatives from the bloc's 21 members attended the meeting.

(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2008)

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