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Sunday, November 18, 2018, 10:10
APEC CEO summit calls for free trade, inclusive growth
By Xinhua
Sunday, November 18, 2018, 10:10 By Xinhua

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill speaks during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Port Moresby, Nov 16, 2018. (FAZRY ISMAIL / POOL / AFP)

PORT MORESBY – After two-days of rigorous discussions, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit 2018, wrapped up on Saturday in the capital city of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Port Moresby.

In an unprecedented move for an APEC event, world leaders and business executives from the 21 member economies, met on board a P&O cruise liner, the Pacific Explorer.

Policies must be aimed at improving productivity, raising low and middle-income levels so that we are able to make a better of standard of living for our people. 

Peter O'Neill, Prime Minister, Papua New Guinea  

With the theme of the summit "Inclusion in the age of disruption: Charting a common future," Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his keynote speech delivered on Saturday, advocated greater connectivity, a boost to sustainable infrastructure developments across the region and the continuation of trade liberalization.

READ MORE: Xi calls for inclusive, rule-based world economy at APEC meeting

While the organization, established in 1989, predominantly promotes growth and trade liberalization across the Asia-Pacific region, guests and delegates used the opportunity to discuss a wide-range of economic and security issues like the future of globalization, energy development and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Other key areas that the talks focused on were new ways to help small to medium enterprises, digitization, innovation and disruption.

The overarching issue of ensuring inclusive growth through greater connectivity was also a major feature of numerous panels.

ALSO READ: Island countries offered ride on China's development train

"While free trade is vital ... this alone will not deliver the sustained and the wider economic development that we aspire to," PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said at the opening of the summit on Friday.

Moderator Charlie Cambell, left, hosts, left to right, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Aran Maree, Chief Medical Officer of Jassen Pharmaceutical, Peter Fang, Head of Asia Pacific of Shire and Ann Sherry, chairwoman of Carnival Australia in a panel discussion "The Workforce of the Future" for the CEO Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby, Nov 17, 2018. (PETER PARKS / AFP)

"Policies must be aimed at improving productivity, raising low and middle-income levels so that we are able to make a better of standard of living for our people."

Encouraging investment infrastructure that can facilitate digital access for small to medium enterprises in remote areas, O'Neill added, "There should be no space for digital divide, on whatever grounds that divide may be generated ... be it gender, ethnic groupings, education or where the person lives."

Other world leaders who addressed the forum included US Vice President Mike Pence, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

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