Sat11252017

LAST_UPDATESat, 25 Nov 2017 2am

APEC Ministers End Meeting With 'Good Outcome'

Pic: ReutersPic: ReutersDANANG, VIETNAM: Foreign and trade ministers of 21 Pacific Rim economies, including Malaysia, ended two days of meeting here with "a very good outcome" on open markets and other strategic issues.

This, despite differing views on trade and protectionism, according to Vietnamese Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh.

They are expected to issue a communique later today amid the US' demand for changes to the language used on issues such as free trade and protectionism.

Ministers of the remaining 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11), together with their respective chief negotiators, meanwhile, described their meeting so far to revive the multilateral trade deal as "very productive".

However, they needed more discussions on proceeding with the trade deal after the United States withdrew, according to Reuters which quoted Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had late Wednesday told the Malaysian media that if the meetings on both the TPP and APEC regional trade fail to reach an agreement, the ministers would turn to their prime ministers and presidents for “guidance”.

A meeting of TPP leaders had been tentatively scheduled on the sidelines of the summit.

The TPP-11 ministers had agreed to move ahead without the US at a meeting in Vietnam in May, but asked their negotiators to look at what might need changing ahead of the meeting here.

The pact aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across the bloc whose trade totalled US$356 billion last year. It also has provisions for protecting everything from intellectual property to labour rights to the environment.

-Reuters