Leaders vow not to raise new trade barriers
By Liza Mohd in Lima, Peru

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, alongside US President George W Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and other members of the 21 Apec nations, vowed to refrain from raising new barriers to invest or trade in goods and services for the next 12 months.

In a statement issued at the Apec summit in Peru, the leaders acknowledged the risk that has slowed down the world's economic growth could lead to calls for protectionist measures, which would exacerbate the current economic situation.

The meeting addressed the deteriorating economic situation in the declaration of Apec leaders on the global economy and financial crisis that was a predominant topic during the Apec Leaders Meeting held from Nov 22-23.

The joint statement stated that the leaders have already taken urgent and extraordinary actions to continue to work closely to coordinate and integrate in further implementing actions to help deal with the crisis.

One of the Apec challenges is to restore confidence in their economies and maintain the region on a path of long-term growth.

Therefore, the Lima Declaration proposes concrete measures, such as the regulation and supervision of financial systems, as well as the need to develop more effective standards of corporate administration, taking into account the importance of corporate social responsibility.

The leaders further supported the Washington Declaration, signed by the Group of 20, and the Action Plan for the reform of the financial markets proposed at the summit of the group. To achieve this countries should have close macroeconomic cooperation, avoid negative surplus to support emerging economies and developing countries, and reflect and strengthen the International Financial Institutions.

The additional statement provided by the leaders highlighted their firm conviction that the principle of free trade and investment rules, as well as open trade will continue to guide global growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

The leaders further recommended the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to strengthen its collaboration with other financial institutions and also decide on the Doha Development Agenda, expressing the expectation of the leaders for an 'ambitious and balanced conclusion' for growth and prosperity of the economies. - Borneo Bulletin (25th Nov 2008)