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NEWS UPDATES 22 July 2009

Indonesia wants Apec trade financing body

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Indonesia has proposed the establishment of regional trade financing cooperation within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, state news agency Antara reported.

"What we have been after since yesterday is trade financing. We must continue cooperation (in the field) at Apec level. The cooperation so far is bilateral among individual members," trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu said to newsmen through a teleconference from Singapore here on Tuesday.

She said trade financing was very important for developing small and medium-sized buinesses (UKM) particularly with regard to exports. "It is the UKM that needs insurance. We hope there will be trade relations among UKMs of Apec members," she said.

Trade ministers from Apec members gathered for an annual meeting on July 21-22 in Singapore to discuss progress of economic cooperation among APEC members in various fields.

In the session on "Addressing the Crisis, Preparing for Recovery" the ministers discussed efforts to facilitate trade financing through bilateral and regional cooperation networks.

"To recover from current crisis it requires coordination and close linkage of steps in the financial and trade sectors," she said.

In the meeting the ministers agreed that the dialogue process had to be continued and
 increased not only to overcome crisis and smoothen ways to recovery but also to create Apec economic resilience in the long term.

Mari said in the meeting Indonesia had given special emphasis on increasing social resilience through capacity development programs for UKMs, the poor and the workers.

"This is a very important short- and medium-term agenda for APEC especially with regard to helping the people and businesses that have been hit the hardest by the current crisis and to increasing regional economic and social resiliance to face possible similar crisis in the future," she said.

The minister said Apec had to pay attention to capacity development programs that would affect UKMs and community groups badly in need of them.

Apec members total 21 namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chili, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.



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