APEC Business Advisory Council Calls for Freer Trade

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), on the second day of its three-day meeting in Ha Noi starting on Tuesday, focused on trying to resuscitate the Doha trade talks. 

Believing that the Doha round’s failure would affect trade and investment liberalization in the APEC grouping, ABAC said it would write to the APEC leaders asking them to put the Doha round back on track and strengthen the existing agreements in agriculture, service, customs and other areas.

Mr. Ken Waller from ABAC’s Australia Secretariat said Australia, the host country for APEC 2007, would pursue the objectives that ABAC and APEC were eager to reach, such as trade facilitation and liberalization.

In a speech before the ABAC audience on the same day, the World Trade Organization’s Director General, Pascal Lamy, stressed that a successful Doha round would bring a lot of benefit to APEC.

He urged the APEC members to lobby their governments and push for a successful conclusion of the Doha round.

The WTO chief said that support from the APEC business community would be crucial in raising public awareness of and support for freeing up trade on a global scale.

Mr. Lamy said business people in the Asia-Pacific region should engage in the negotiations as much as possible and tell the negotiators of their economies about the difficulties, trade barriers and unfair treatment they encountered.

He took the occasion to congratulate Viet Nam on joining the WTO. “Viet Nam is this region’s rising star,” he said.

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By Anh Thu and Bao Van – Translate by Minh Tuong

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