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Yokohama, Japan, 8 Nov 2010
APEC Senior Officials finalize key initiatives for Leaders

Yokohama, November 8, 2010 - APEC senior officials have finalized recommendations for Ministers and Leaders on a new economic growth strategy, possible pathways to a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and an assessment of progress on the Bogor Goals.

After two days of meetings, the officials from APEC's 21 member economies concluded discussions on the priorities to be presented to Ministers and Leaders this week on these key APEC initiatives developed during 2010.
 
The concluding Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) is part of a week of annual APEC meetings, held this year in the Japanese city of Yokohama, including the Ministerial Meeting, a gathering of trade and foreign ministers, the CEO Summit, the SME Summit and the Leaders' Meeting on the weekend.

APEC members, which account for 40 percent of the world's population, 44 percent of global trade, and 55 percent of world GDP, has been developing a growth strategy which sets a vision for future growth in the region amid the changing economic landscape.

Against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crisis, APEC has developed the strategy which encourages improvement in the region's "quality of growth." The strategy aims to achieve balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth.

"By putting a multi-year growth strategy in place for the region, we will assure future generations of a sustainable path towards prosperity," SOM co-chair, Shigeru Nakamura, from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained.

Expanding APEC's agenda on structural reform was also agreed at the meeting to contribute to recovery from the global financial crisis through enhanced productivity, regional economic integration and balanced and inclusive economic growth.

A report on the assessment of progress by APEC economies towards the Bogor Goals was also discussed. Set in 1994, the Bogor Goals are a key commitment to realizing free and open trade and investment by 2010 for APEC?s five industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.

"Based on an initial review it seems that the economies under assessment have made progress towards an environment that encourages trade among APEC members," said SOM co-chair Hidehiko Nishiyama, from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Thirteen economies, the five industrialized and another eight who have volunteered for assessment ahead of 2020, have undergone a thorough assessment to measure their progress towards the goals. A report will be presented to Ministers and Leaders this week.

APEC has also been exploring possible pathways to a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific or FTAAP, which is part of APEC's agenda on greater regional economic integration to increase trade and investment and boost prosperity in the region.

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