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February 8, 2009

Apec Summit:
Singapore to resist protectionism, promotes cooperatioon

Singapore will push forward the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) agenda by promoting economic cooperation in the region and resisting protectionism.

In the backdrop of sharp economic downturn, protectionist sentiments will rise in many countries, adding that the chance of concluding the Doha negotiations in the near future is small, Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo as saying Friday in the Parliament

Singapore is to host this year's APEC leaders' summit in November.

Yeo said that during the meeting, the global economic crisis will be the preoccupation for all leaders in the region because all economies are seriously affected by it and the crisis will bite hard in every economy by the end of the year.

He said that an important item for APEC is the proposal to establish a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific as a long-term goal.

"In trade matters, like riding a bicycle, there is always a danger of falling off when you are not moving forward," said the minister.

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