September 7th, 2007 02:25 EST
19th annual meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
The 19th annual meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) foreign and trade ministers took place on September 5-6 in Sydney, Australia.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref took part in it.
The meeting discussed a broad range of global and regional issues, among them ensuring sustainable economic growth in the AP region, in particular, by greater economic integration; strengthening the multilateral trade system in the context of support for the WTO negotiation process; countering international terrorism and other challenges to security and stability in the region; combating corruption, and increasing economic transparency. Considerable emphasis was laid on the need for structural changes in the APEC economies, aimed at streamlining legislation and improving the competitive business environment. The ministers reaffirmed their disposition to carry out further steps for enhancing the forum’s effectiveness.
Meeting participants again expressed their support of Russia’s soonest accession to the WTO.
At the debate’s end, a Joint Statement of APEC Foreign and Trade Ministers was adopted (its full text is posted on the MFA web site).
The Ministerial Meeting was the concluding stage of preparations for the APEC Heads of State/Government Meeting scheduled in Sidney on September 8-9.
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