U.S. praises Indonesia’s APEC leadership

BALI, Indonesia, (PNA/Xinhua) — The United States Secretary of State John Kerry praised Indonesia’s APEC leadership this year on Saturday, saying that Indonesia’s potentialities and resources have contributed significantly to the region and to the world as well.

Speaking at a press conference held in APEC media center here, John Kerry said that Indonesia is a very powerful significant member in the forum that was initially established in 1989 and now grouped by 21 economies in Asia and Pacific.

“We view Indonesia as a very important partner in terms of securing the rule and the standards of trade which is so critical to the transparency, capability and the willingness of people to invest capital and grow the economy,” Kerry said.

John Kerry is to attend the ministerial meeting in 2013 APEC, held in Indonesia’s island resort of Bali, replacing U.S. President Barack Obama who finally opted to cancel his Asian trip, which would have also taken in Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines besides the APEC summit, to deal with the first government shutdown in 17 years..

John Kerry emphasized that the absence of President Obama in the event themed “Resilient Asia Pacific, Engine of Global Growth” would not reduce the U.S. commitments in Asia.

“I do want to make it clear. We already know what is happening in Washington. Our commitment and engagement in Asia, including our reference to perform trade and investment and appearance in the region, remains one of our prime priorities,” Kerry said.

John Kerry is scheduled to stay in Bali for five days to attend the APEC forum and related meetings.

APEC groups 21 members in the Asia-Pacific region. The group of economies accounts for 45 percent of global trade with transactions of above 18 trillion U.S. dollars per year. It accounts for up to 60 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).