APEC economies remain optimistic about multilateral trade agreement

NUSA DUA, Bali, (PNA/Antara News) – Members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies remain optimistic that the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will agree to adopt the proposed multilateral trade system.

“Over the last two days, optimism among APEC economies over the multilateral trade system remains high, despite the fact that the agricultural package and trade facilities remain a difficult issue,” Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said at a press conference here on Saturday.

Gita added that the presence of WTO director general Roberto Azevedo at the APEC meeting was one of the factors that drove the optimism.

“The WTO director general said that we still have a lot of homework, but the director general also helped us with a recommendation, in the form of a solution frame which, in my mind, is applicable,” the minister said.

In the meantime, WTO Director General Roberto said he believed the APEC ministers would support the initiative.

Roberto said what WTO was offering was quite realistic, though he added that negotiations at a multilateral level remains difficult. But if the agreement is implemented correctly, it would reduce trade costs and expand business worldwide.