SINGAPORE - Leaders of the 21 APEC economies are concerned that high level political commitment to conclude the Doha Round of world trade talks has yet to translate into substantive progress and called for a deal next year, a draft statement from the grouping seen by Reuters on Monday said.
The draft statement, expected to be delivered at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore later this month, said the grouping was ready to exercise all possible flexibility in order to accelerate the pace in negotiations.
We instruct our ministers to work closely with the Director-General of (the World Trade Organization) to evaluate, in specific terms, what needs to be done to conclude the Doha Development Agenda in 2010, said the draft dated October 31.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said last month the goal of signing a new global commerce deal in 2010 was out of reach unless countries accelerated their negotiations.
APEC has 21 member economies: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.
(Reporting by Nopporn Wong-Anan; Editing by Jonathan Lynn and Alex Richardson)