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APEC leaders back free markets

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APEC leaders back free markets


Leaders from the Americas and Asia have defended the role of free markets in the face of the financial crisis.

Meeting in Peru, the APEC group said it would refrain from raising trade barriers over the next 12 months.

The two-day summit is the last scheduled trip abroad for US President George W. Bush before he hands over power to Barack Obama in January.

With the world economy under pressure, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group said it supported overhauls of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

APEC accounts for more than half of global output.

Its members said they strongly backed recommendations that the Group of 20 leading economies made last week in Washington.

The 21-nation APEC body also promised to push for a global free trade deal in efforts to keep the world from sliding into a deep recession.

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