Leaders, wearing traditional Peruvian ponchos, wave during the official group photo of 16th summit of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC, in Lima, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008.
The 21 economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which represent more than half of the world’s productive power, assured the world yesterday (Sunday) at the end of a 2-day summit in Lima, that the global financial crisis can be quelled in 18 months. But how they expect this to happen – or how their governments can help remains to be seen.
The 18-month time-line fits with a calculation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which forecast that developed economies would grow barely 0.1 percent in 2009, and that the world would emerge from the crisis the following year.
APEC, which groups some of the most open economies in the world, warned that countries should not be tempted to use protectionist measures even if job losses mount. APEC members pledged to work together to ease the turmoil, agreed not to adopt new trade barriers for a year and called for better regulation of the financial industry. Their declaration at the end of a two-day summit in Peru supported a declaration by the Group of 20 (G20) major economies at a meeting in Washington last weekend that pledged to maintain free trade despite pressures to protect domestic industries. They are looking at stimulus plans that include boosting government spending and cutting taxes.
APEC leaders also said that they were deeply concerned about instability in food prices, were committed to battling corruption and piracy, and supported “decisive and effective long-term cooperation” to combat climate change.
Barack Obama did not send representatives to the APEC summit but said on Saturday he was crafting an aggressive two-year stimulus plan to revive the troubled economy. He has announced a plan to save or create 2.5 million jobs by the end of 2010 and is preparing to introduce leaders of his economic team this week.