15 Nov 2010 11:33

APEC nations to form Asia Pacific free trade zone

YOKOHAMA. Nov 15 (Interfax) - The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will act as an incubator for the Asia-Pacific free trade zone by providing leadership and intellectual saturation for its development process, the APEC summit attendees said in a final document.

We believe that the free trade zone must be formed as a comprehensive agreement on free trade for the development and advancement of existing regional endeavors such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus three, ASEAN plus six, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and others, the document said.

In the future, the Asia-Pacific free trade zone is expected to not only provide liberalization in the proper sense but to become an all-inclusive and high-quality format that will address "next-generation" trade and investment issues.

The outlined plans must reflect the changing contours of the global economic and trade architecture, in particular, the distribution of free trade and regional trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, the summit attendees said.