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Trade protectionism is extending
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The 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies pledged to refrain from raising new barriers to trade and investment, said a final statement from the joint APEC ministerial meeting.

"We note that a pick-up in trade and investment was contributing to the recent rebound in economic activity, but evidence of an increasing use of trade remedies indicates that risks relating to protectionism and recovery remain," a final statement from the APEC ministerial meeting said.

A review of trade, fiscal and monetary measures among member economies that began in July to insure they were not protectionist would continue to 2010, the statement said.

"We will continue to undertake regular review of our policies that impact on trade and investment and reiterate our pledge to maintain free and open markets.

APEC ministers said they were concerned at the lack of substantive progress on concluding the round of world trade talks launched in Doha in 2001 and called for a deal next year.

The Doha round of world trade talks was launched eight years ago to help poor countries prosper through trade.

World leaders recently set a goal of concluding a deal in the long-running talks by next year, but negotiations in Geneva have stalled.

The ministers said they "will accelerate efforts to advance into endgame negotiations" in agriculture and other areas at issue in the negotiations.

The statement said APEC would continue to study models for a vast free trade area across the APEC region, which accounts for more than half of global output, and 40 percent of global trade.

APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, HK, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, the United States and Vietnam.
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