APEC Leaders Committed to Reduce Gap between Developed and Developing Countries

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The Economic Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, gathered in Lima, under the theme: "A New Commitment to Asia-Pacific Development", chosen for APEC 2008, called for reducing the gap between developed and developing member economies.

"We are committed to strengthening the social dimension of globalization and ensuring that all members and all sectors of APEC economies can access the skills and opportunities to participate in, and benefit from, regional and global trade and investment.

The APEC Lima Summit posted a final declaration, which embraces 12 major topics of the Lima debate, affirms advancement towards mutually acceptable solutions of the most acute global problems.

Leaders said they will quickly and decisively address the impending global economic slowdown amid the current global financial crisis is one of the most serious economic challenges economies have ever faced.

“We welcomed the monetary and fiscal stimulus provided by APEC member economies and will take all necessary economic and financial measures to resolve this crisis, taking the necessary actions to offer hope to those most in need”, they said.

They said their resolve to address the deteriorating global economic situation, and support a prompt, ambitious and balanced conclusion to the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations, is outlined in a separate statement issued at this meeting.
In the Lima Declaration they said they endorsed the 2009 work plan for the APEC Regional Economic Integration (REI) Agenda in order to build upon this year’s accomplishments on REI and to accelerate efforts in all areas of this agenda.

“Last year we agreed to an ambitious long-term agenda to strengthen regional economic integration. We welcomed the 2008 progress report from Ministers and officials on efforts to achieve this goal”, the Declaration said.

At the same time, the APEC leaders stressed that globalization based on economic, social and environmental progress can bring sustainable benefits to all APEC economies, their business sectors and their people.

CSR can reinforce the positive effects that trade and investment have on growth, competitiveness and sustainable development.

“We encourage responsible and transparent business conduct that adheres to local legislation and regulations and takes into account guidelines related to CSR that have been developed by multilateral bodies, as appropriate”, they said.

APEC leaders welcomed the work that has been undertaken within APEC to promote CSR awareness and capabilities in the region, and future work that will encourage dialogue on CSR among relevant stakeholders including: businesses, governments, employees, communities, consumers, investors, and non-governmental organizations.
“We recognized ABAC’s efforts in promoting CSR awareness and uptake in the region through the dissemination of information regarding CSR principles, practices and benefits”.

As well, APEC leaders encouraged companies to incorporate CSR into their business strategies to take account of social, labor and environmental concerns.

The development of CSR in the region will depend on the different domestic economic, social and cultural context of APEC members. We agreed to promote CSR practices in APEC economies on a voluntary basis in business operations of all sizes to complement public policies that foster sustainable development, the Declaration said.

News source: Andina

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