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China calls for enhanced coordination among ASEAN+6 economic ministers

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MANADO, Indonesia, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming on Saturday called on economic ministers of ASEAN and its six dialogue partners to enhance contact and coordination, so as to give confidence to the world.

Chen said that the ministers should work on decreasing trade barriers, pushing forward Doha Round of trading talks, and accelerating the steady recovery of global economy, as the international finance market was facing new uncertainties and challenges.

The Chinese minister made the speech at the Informal Consultations of East Asia Summit Economic Ministers that was joined by ASEAN economic ministers and their counterparts from six dialogue partners, namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, New Zealand and India.

According to Chen, the Doha Round was at a crucial historical juncture. He called for not abandoning the fruits of Doha Round in the past ten years and jointly pushing forward the accomplishment of the early harvest program on the least-developed countries.

He added that China was sincere and willing to be flexible for that. Chen's appeal was echoed by all other attending ministers. According to the joint statement issued after the meeting, all attending ministers welcomed and exchanged their views on the joint proposal from China and Japan on East Asia Free Trade Zone ( FTA) and East Asia Comprehensive Partnership.

They also hoped to take the suggestion from ASEAN on the structure and model of ASEAN plus FTA and the joint proposal from China and Japan into discussion simultaneously. Thus, the ministers asked senior officials to discuss on these topics in the meeting this November and submit the report to them.

The attending ministers reiterate the significance of maintaining the core position of ASEAN in the process of regional economic integration. They take deeply regret about the Doha Round' s coming into deadlock; reiterated their determination at reaching agreement on the early harvest program, especially for the least- developed countries, as soon as possible; and reiterated the importance of rejecting protectionism.

The ministers attending the 14th ASEAN Economic Ministers Plus Three Consultations on Saturday issued a joint statement, which highly appreciated the trading and investment cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and ROK, and welcomed the joint proposal from China and Japan on East Asia Free Trade Zone (FTA) and East Asia Comprehensive Partnership. They also hoped to take the suggestion from ASEAN on the structure and model of ASEAN plus. Enditem

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