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APEC promises growth and free markets

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APEC promises growth and free markets


Asia-Pacific leaders meeting in Russian port city of Vladivostok have promised to boost growth in an effort to revive the flagging global economy.

They say we can expect steps to cut import duties on so-called “green technology” and measures to liberalise trade to counter problems exacerbated by Europe’s debt crisis.

But the 21-members of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation group also expressed concern about world food security and growing signs of protectionism.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin described the Asia-Pacific region as the world’s locomotive: “The euro zone is expecting, maybe zero growth or even recession. Here, we have had growth, significant growth. This situation makes every regional leader here feel positive,” he said.

Putin’s comments about Europe reflect the bloc’s declining influence and Russia’s increasing importance, especially as a wheat supplier.

Although APEC makes decisions by consensus and its moves are non-binding, it accounts for 40 percent of the world’s population, 44 percent of its trade and more than half of its economic output.

0The IMF’s Managing Director did express support for the ECB’s latest plan to end the crisis.

Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director: “As far as the IMF is concerned, we shall certainly be ready to help and to assist in the design and monitoring of eventual programmes of all conditions that would be part of the solutions”.

The ECB stands ready to buy sovereign debt in return for a bailout deal, a measure the IMF describes as “paving the way forward.”

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