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24th APEC summit seeks to boost inclusive growth in member economies

November 19, 2016 - PERU

The challenges for the Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will include keeping feuding nations at the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima focused on the forum theme - inclusive economic growth. The main action of the summit might happen on the sidelines, where leaders often adjourn to attack territorial and other issues.

The final stages of Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations were reached on the sidelines of the 23rd APEC summit in Manila. Hundreds of people from indigenous, student and labour groups, who were opposed to the pact, clashed with police outside the summit.

APEC groups Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, United States, Chinese Taipei, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia and Vietnam. Some one-quarter of the members are at odds with China over the South China Sea or political issues, while the Ukraine and Syria conflicts continue to divide the United States and Russia.

At the close of the 23rd summit, the leaders departed from the usual economic themes to declare a united stand against violent extremism. A similar declaration can be expected at the 24th.

Trade ministers from APEC member economies convened in Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, in May to push forward on inclusive global growth. The meeting happened against a backdrop of global uncertainty that weighed on trade flows but did not alter the region's fundamental position as an engine of growth and prosperity, according to APEC.

APEC is calling for member economies to take greater steps to translate trade and economic growth to inclusive growth, defined by improved income growth and distribution. APEC research shows that trade growth over the past quarter century has lifted incomes but it has not significantly contributed to reducing inequalities in the APEC region. Growth among the APEC member economies softened to 3.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2015, down from 3.2 per cent in quarter one and 3.4 per cent a year ago, according to the APEC Economic Trends Analysis.

APEC leaders skirt controversial issues (The Philippine Star 19 Nov 2015)

APEC Leaders issue Declaration in Manila (APEC 19 Nov 2015)

Asia-Pacific Growth at a Crossroads (APEC 27 Nov 2015)

Date written/update: 2016-10-22