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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dhaka, Nov 15- Leaders of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, including US President Barack Obama, opened the second and last day of annual talks Sunday

In Saturday's talks, the theme of free trade "resonated strongly" among leaders, the Singapore hosts said in a statement.
They "resolved to inject a strong political push" to conclude by the end of 2010 the stalled Doha round of negotiations aimed at dismantling barriers to global trade, the statement said.
"There was a sense of urgency that as negotiations moved into the end-game, strong political will is critical to break the impasse."
The APEC leaders represent more than half the global economy, and some 2.6 billion people stretching from the United States to impoverished Papua New Guinea via China and Chile.
They agreed to pursue efforts towards a massive Pacific-wide free trade area, and welcomed Obama's announcement that the United States will throw its weight behind a small trade pact seen as a nucleus for the wider agreement.
They will also declare that it is too early to end massive stimulus packages implemented to ward off a deeper economic crisis, according to a draft summit communique seen by AFP.
Obama missed Saturday's summit session but joined APEC leaders at their gala dinner in the evening, after concluding a visit to Tokyo.

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