Regional trade, investment the focus of next Apec meet

Asia Society business conference ——————————–
THE next Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in Indonesia in November would focus on regional trade and investment, said the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Hartarto Sastrosoenarto, yesterday.

Speaking at The Asia Society’s business conference, he said the agenda would include human resource development, aid for small- and medium-sized businesses, infrastructural development and private sector participation.

Indonesia, which is the Apec host this year, has set Nov 15 as the tentative date for the summit of the Apec leaders in Bogor.

The inaugural Apec summit was hosted by US President Bill Clinton in Seattle in November last year.

Dr Hartarto said Apec now faced the challenge of how to improve cooperation between the developed and developing economies in the 18-member Apec forum.

Philippines the next ‘tiger-cub’

The Philippine Finance Secretary, Mr Roberto De Ocampo, presented an upbeat report on his country’s economy in his speech.

He said the Ramos government had brought about political stability and the economy was now poised to take off.

The Philippines would be the next “tiger-cub” in Asia by the turn of the century, he declared.

“Our confident message to Europe and to the world is that the Philippines is back in business, right in the heart of the Asia-Pacific.”

The economy was expected to grow by about 6 per cent in the next three years, he said. Inflation was down in the last two years to about 7.5 per cent.

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