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APEC economies pledge flexible fiscal policies, stress infrastructure investment

Updated: Oct 23,2014 11:26 AM     Xinhua

Finance ministers of APEC economies pledged on Oct 22 to flexibly implement fiscal policies in a joint statement released after the 21st APEC Finance Minister’s Meeting.

The pledge comes as they seek ways to boost economic and job growth amid a slow economic period. The finance ministers recognized that the global economy still faces persistent weak demand and risks have risen.

“We reaffirm our commitments to address weakness in our economies and unleash new sources of potential growth including through new structural reform actions, and fulfilling existing reform commitments,” said the statement.

The annual meeting came ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to be held in Beijing on Nov 10 and 11, which will be attended by leaders or representatives of the 21 APEC members, including the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

These economies account for over half of the world’s economic output, 40 percent of the world’s population, and 46 percent of total global trade.

As the engine of the world economy, the APEC region should lead the global recovery toward strong, sustainable and balanced growth, the meeting of Oct 22 pledged.

In particular, the APEC nations will continue to develop high value-added service sectors to promote good quality jobs for young people, supports small and medium-sized enterprises as they are drivers of economic activity, as well as increase investment in research and development.

The finance ministers stressed the role infrastructure investment plays in realizing growth potential and meeting development goals.

“Given the large funding gap between projected infrastructure needs and limited financial resources, we call for further efforts to attract long-term financing and leverage private resource flows to fill the gap, including through public-private partnership (PPP),” the statement said.

The finance ministers said they welcome the efforts of APEC members to support capacity building and project development for infrastructure PPPs, including China’s decision to commit $5 million from the China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation fund in Asian Development Bank.

The meeting also discussed a range of other topics, including taxation policy reform for economic restructuring and improving financial services for regional real economy.