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China at APEC conference says nations must forge deeper regional economic ties

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 10th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chinese President Hu Jintao, speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC conference said his country will play a role in helping deepen cooperation between the organization's 21 members by rebalancing its economy to improve the chances of a global economic recovery. Hu warned about the state of the global economy, urging countries at summit to protect their interests by forging deeper regional economic ties.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The world economy today is recovering slowly, and there are still some destabilizing factors and uncertainties. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis is far from over," Hu said in a speech before the summit.

"We will work to maintain the balance between keeping steady and robust growth, adjusting the economic structure and managing inflation expectations. We will boost domestic demand and maintain steady and robust growth as well as basic price stability," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had also expressed concern about the world economy last week. In particular, he is concerned about Europe's debt crisis, as he prepared to host the annual APEC summit in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.

China's economy remains dominant in Asia and it is essential to Russia's decision to look eastwards as it seeks to develop its own economy.  

Hu also announced a $157 billion government spending drive to boost infrastructure in agriculture, energy, railways and roads as well as pledging his country's support for greater trade liberalization.

"We should improve and explore new mechanisms for infrastructure investment and financing, and encourage participation in infrastructure development by various actors," he said.

Hu steps down as China's top leader in the autumn after a Communist Party congress. Putin has just begun a new six-year term as the president of Russia. Putin says that Russia would be a stable energy supplier and a gateway to Europe for Asian countries. He also pledged to develop his country's transport network.

Analysts say that Russia sees the summit as a chance to make a shift away from Europe, increasing political and economic links with countries in Asia that are showing relatively strong economic growth while Europe continues to struggles with its debt crisis.

APEC, which also includes the United States, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Canada, groups countries around the Pacific Rim which account for 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of its economic output and 44 percent of trade.

Boosting trade and growth is vital for APEC as a whole as it tries to remove trade barriers that hinder investment.

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