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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 November 2006, 15:21 GMT
Apec heads vow trade talk revival
President George W Bush is greeted with flowers in Vietnam
President Bush is keen on free trade among APEC members
Asia-Pacific leaders have pledged to tackle a deadlock in global trade talks, after their key regional summit in Vietnam.

Heads of Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) countries warned of "grave" consequences if the stalled discussions were not resurrected.

The group, represents more than half the world's economy.

World Trade Organization (WTO) talks collapsed in July after countries failed to reach agreement on subsidies.

In a statement made in Hanoi, the 21-member group - which includes the US, China and Japan - said: "We should spare no efforts to break the current deadlocks and achieve an ambitious and overall balanced outcome."

Meanwhile, the G-20 meeting of the world's finance leaders said it was "essential" to get a successful conclusion to the Doha round of world trade talks.

Meeting in Melbourne, they said faster global economic growth was need to help cut poverty, and warned that "rising protectionism" was threatening global prosperity.

Insurance policy

US President George Bush used the APEC summit to try to gather support for a free trade zone between the organisation's 21 members.

Washington has argued that this would standardise trade in a region where many nations have bi-lateral agreements.

Analysts have said the US proposal is an insurance policy in case efforts to revive world trade talks fail.

The global WTO talks were meant to boost free trade for the benefit of developing countries.

But an inability by the US and Europe to agree over how to reduce agricultural subsidies caused the talks to stall in the so-called Doha round.


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