APEC spurs on Asia-Pacific region amid economic uncertainties
Updated 21:22, 21-Nov-2018
By Wang Mengjie
‍With protectionism and unilateralism now casting a long shadow over the prospect of the global economy, which direction should be chosen? 
As Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) started with and prospered on economic globalization, its inherent openness and inclusiveness helped define the future.

Say no to protectionism and unilateralism

Each era faces problems of its day. Problems themselves are not to be afraid of; what truly matters is to take a right approach to resolve the problems. 
Addressing the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave his thoughts on solutions over the turmoil. 
He called for more efforts to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation as well as a firm commitment to the rule-based multilateral trading system, urging the international community to jointly oppose protectionism.
In his speech at APEC CEO Summit on Saturday, Xi reiterated that only openness and cooperation can bring more opportunities and create more space for development. 
Acknowledging that APEC is a pioneer in building an open global economy, the Chinese president called for more efforts to uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.
Other leaders attending the summit also echoed Xi's stance to warn against trade protectionism.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government would fight against rising trade protectionism as solution is more likely to be found around the negotiating table than it is in rebuilding a tariff wall.
Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joined the tone of opposing growing protectionism and called for transparent trade rules.

Chinese wisdom helps boost the global economy

APEC is the highest-level, broadest and most influential economic and trade cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region. It is poised to promote trade by establishing the regional free trade zone, and strives to improve connectivity and regional economy in the region, which will also empower China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
With the global economy facing great uncertainties, China has stepped into the void to promote global cooperation as the BRI is vital for creating win-win cooperation.
Statistics showed that in countries along the Belt and Road, China has set up 82 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones over the past five years, in the process investing 28.9 billion US dollars and creating about 244,000 local jobs.
The initiative has also to a large extent benefited development in the Asia-Pacific region by expanding infrastructure as well as trade and cultural exchanges.
PNG, the host country of this year's APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, is the first Pacific island country to ink a memorandum of understanding with China on BRI cooperation.
Holding the talks with Xi during his stay in PNG, Prime Minister Peter O'Neill reaffirmed his country's willingness to take an active role in jointly building the Belt and Road.
Leaders from other Pacific island countries also attached great importance to BRI cooperation while attending a group meeting chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.
Noting that the BRI is vital for the development of the region, the President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian said his country is willing to cooperate with China in expanding trade, tourism and other aspects.
Toke Talagi, prime minister of Niue, is also pleased that Niue is welcomed by China to actively participate in the Belt and Road cooperation.

Promote inclusive growth

A consensus was reached on promoting inclusive growth and regional economic integration to improve the living standards of the people in the region, O'Neill said on Sunday at a press conference after the conclusion of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
O'Neill said that APEC member economies need to make further efforts to achieve the Bogor Goals in order to realize trade and investment liberalization and facilitation by 2020, as APEC is working on a vision on cooperation after 2020 to indicate the direction of development.

More cooperation

Not only setting the direction for economic development, this year's APEC also helps enhance regional cooperation.
China and PNG agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development during the talks between the two leaders.
Xi also put forward proposals for the development of relations between China and Pacific island countries under the new circumstances, stressing that both sides should seize opportunities and create a better future.
Leaders of the Pacific island countries appreciated Xi's initiative and said China is an important partner to help improve living standards and meet global challenges. 
(With inputs from Xinhua)