President Xi Jinping pushes FTAAP acceleration, regional integration

By Filane Mikee Z. Cervantes

MANILA, Nov. 18 (PNA) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is urging Asia-Pacific economies to hasten the process of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and promote regional economic integration.

“We must steer the giant ship of this Asia-Pacific economy in the right direction. All economies in the region of Asia-Pacific must act in a responsible manner and work in unison to promote global growth.” said Xi during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Makati City on Wednesday,

Xi encouraged the APEC leaders to “accelerate the realization of FTAAP and take regional economic integration forward” in order to find new growth areas and strengthen the Asia-Pacific status as a “growth engine”.

”We need to encourage equal-footed participation and extensive consultation and make free trade arrangements open and inclusive,” Xi argued.

FTAAP, which was China’s landmark initiative in last year’s APEC summit, helps consolidate the various bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms in the region, and minimize the risks caused by overlapping and fragmented free trade arrangements.

Xi also urged the APEC leaders to commit themselves in a mutual cooperation and promote fair competition in the region.

Aside from FTAAP, Xi sees potential in APEC as a “policy platform and incubator for strengthened cooperation” particularly in areas such as the internet economy, blue economy, green economy, red economy, and urbanization. (PNA)