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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 09:35 GMT
Apec pushes for free trade boost
US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin
The summit was the first involving all leaders of member states
Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific states in the Apec grouping have ended a summit in Chile with a call for action to lower global trade barriers.

Apec plans to seek rules to benefit developing nations before World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Hong Kong in December 2005.

Apec members Russia and Vietnam got backing for their bids to join the WTO.

The leaders also approved a number of anti-terrorist measures to protect aircraft, shipping and food stocks.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation Forum, set up in 1989 mainly to promote trade among Pacific Rim states, now accounts for more than half of global economic output and almost half of all international trade.

We reaffirmed our determination to advance the prosperity and sustainable growth of our economies
Apec leaders

The two-day annual Apec gathering in Santiago was the first official summit involving the leaders of all 21 member states, who include Canada, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

"We reaffirmed our determination to advance the prosperity and sustainable growth of our economies and the complementary mission of ensuring the security of our people," a statement from the Apec leaders said.

The WTO talks broke down last year in a dispute over reducing subsidies offered by rich countries to their farmers. But the negotiations resumed in July.

Security concerns

The Apec summit was the first big international gathering that President George Bush has attended since his re-election and the meeting was held under tight security.

On Friday, tens of thousands of people protested on the city streets against capitalism and the Iraq war.

American officials say Mr Bush was using the summit to map a strategy to resume talks with North Korea over its nuclear ambitions. On Saturday he told Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear weapon programme.

He had separate meetings with the Chinese, Japanese, Russian and South Korean leaders before the summit opened.

They, together with the US and North Korea, represent the countries involved in the stalled six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.




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Leaders want action to lower global trade barriers



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