Asia-Pacific leaders vow to work for freer trade

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 14, 2010 08:17




YOKOHAMA — Asia-Pacific leaders endorsed a blueprint for future growth Sunday that calls for pushing ahead with free trade agreements and rolling back protectionist measures put in place during the financial crisis.

Wrapping up the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the leaders of 21 economies put aside differences over currency policies to voice a strong commitment to increasing the trade and investment crucial to the region's growth and resilience.

Leaders representing the US, China, Japan, Russia and other regional economies also agreed on the need to reduce trade imbalances and government debt and avoid sharp, potentially disruptive fluctuations in exchange rates.

While many participants remained at odds over currency policies and other issues, they appeared to agree on the vital role freer trade can play in sparking growth.


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