Full agenda awaits President, 20 other APEC leaders in Sydney meet
Manila (4 September) -- A full agenda awaits President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 20 other leaders attending the 15th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders Meeting (AELM) in Sydney, Australia on Sept. 7-9.
Topping the list of principal issues up for discussion are APEC's support for the World Trade Organization (WTO), the integration of regional economy, structural reforms, energy security, climate change and human security, and APEC reforms.
The key objective of the gathering is the establishment of a regime of greater sharing of economic prosperity among the APEC member countries.
A briefing paper issued by the Australian embassy in Manila stated that the APEC Secretariat has been building on the outcomes of the 14th APEC Leaders' Meeting held in Vietnam last year.
"The APEC agenda this year is very broad. If you look at the website you will see the huge range of activities the APEC deals with," the AELM background material said.
The highlight of APEC's annual activities, this year's AELM will bring together some of the world's most powerful leaders, including US President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
President Arroyo is expected to participate actively in the discussions of issues of common concern to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as APEC member countries.
She is scheduled to arrive in Sydney Friday, in time for the opening of the AELM.
APEC is a group of economies which discusses trade issues of common concern for the 21-member countries. It is the only inter-governmental group committed to reducing trade barriers and increasing investments without requiring its members to enter into legally binding obligations.
This year, APEC goes back to Sydney where the concept of the multi-national conference among member countries was conceived in 1989.
The APEC member-economies are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.
The AELM theme this year is: "Sustaining our Community: Building a Sustainable Future." (OPS) [top]