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APEC Leaders pledge to create resilient and sustainable future

Updated 11:23, 18-Nov-2023

Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies pledged on Friday to continue spurring economic progress and addressing environmental challenges, including climate change, for a resilient and sustainable future.

In a joint declaration issued at the end of the leaders' meetings in the U.S. city of San Francisco, the leaders agreed that facing a different and dynamic set of economic challenges, the APEC economies must harness technological and economic progress to continue to unleash the enormous potential and tremendous dynamism across the region. 

Noting the commitments listed in the Golden Gate Declaration build upon the work of previous APEC hosts, the leaders said those commitments will move the APEC economies towards new ways of bringing resiliency, sustainability, interconnection, innovation and inclusion directly into their priorities and working together to respond to the most pressing economic challenges.

To deliver a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, inclusive and predictable trade and investment environment, the leaders said in the declaration that they are committed to necessary reform of the World Trade Organization to "improve all of its functions, including conducting discussions with a view to having a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024."

"We also reaffirm our commitment to keep markets open and address supply chain disruptions, including by working to support our businesses in building secure, effective, resilient, sustainable, and open supply chains that create a predictable, competitive, and digitally interconnected Asia-Pacific region," said the Declaration.

The leaders also stressed advancing economic integration in the region in a market-driven manner. "We will enhance our capacity building and technical cooperation efforts in support of economies' readiness to participate in high quality and comprehensive regional undertakings."

Facing the challenges posed by the impacts of climate changes, the leaders recognize that "more intensive efforts are needed for economies to accelerate their clean, sustainable, just, affordable, and inclusive energy transitions through various pathways, consistent with global net-zero greenhouse gas emissions/carbon neutrality by or around mid-century."

Leaders of APEC economies agreed they will pursue to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030, according to the Declaration.

Food security, digital economy and other topics also have their parts in the declaration.

"We commit to fully implement the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030 as a pathway to make our agri-food systems more resilient, productive, innovative, and sustainable," said the Declaration.

The leaders reaffirmed the importance of agricultural productivity, international trade, and prevention and reduction of food loss and waste, in achieving food security, and will increase their efforts to ensure food security and nutrition, according to the Declaration.

Regarding the digital economy, the leaders agreed to explore a concerted and collaborative policy response, promote international cooperation on digital technology, and welcome continued international discussions on governance for digital technology to unlock its full potential, equitably share benefits, and mitigate risks.

(Cover: APEC Economic Leaders Meeting concludes in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 17, 2023. /CFP)

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