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APEC to assign Japan to develop proposals for Asia Pacific FTA
Thursday 05th November, 10:57 AM JST
Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will set Japan, the next APEC chair, the task of identifying ways for the 21-member grouping to create a free trade bloc in the future, according to a draft statement they are expected to issue at their Nov 14 to 15 summit in Singapore.
The draft APEC leaders’ statement said APEC is to come out with the proposals by the end of next year, thus effectively assigning Japan, which holds the chairmanship of APEC next year, the task of overseeing that embryonic process of developing a giant free trade area encompassing a region that already accounts for nearly half of the world’s trade.