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DATE=9/12/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=APEC DAYWRAP / L NUMBER=2-253760 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=AUCKLAND CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Pacific Rim leaders officially started the world's biggest annual summit, Sunday. As Amy Bickers reports from Auckland, they sat down to talk trade and finance, amid concerns over East Timor and other regional conflicts. Text: Heads of state and prime ministers from 21 Pacific Rim governments sat down Sunday in Auckland to talk about trade and commerce, in the aftermath of the Asian economic crisis. The main goal of their two- day gathering is to create a regional agenda for global free-trade talks, which start in Seattle this November, under the auspices of the World Trade Organization. A draft of the leaders' final communique praises Asia's recovery from the economic slump of the past two years and emphasizes the need to boost financial market regulation and corporate governance. It offers "the strongest possible support" to the W-T-O talks and calls for the repeal of export farm subsidies. The message of continuing reform, while further opening markets, was underscored by President Clinton, who addressed regional business leaders at a breakfast gathering. /// CLINTON ACTUALITY /// We must, in short, continue our efforts to put a human face on the global economy -- not because it is charity, but because it is the right thing to do, from a humane as well as well as from an economic standpoint. It is essential to the long-term success of the market. An active role for government is important -- not to restrain competition or to dictate the flow of investment -- but to ensure fair dealing and a level playing field. /// END ACTUALITY /// The president also said the W-T-O should be guided by APEC's agenda and accept its proposal that the coming trade round last three years -- much shorter than the previous round. Most of the leaders' meetings taking place on the summit's sidelines continue to focus on politics. Australian Prime Minister John Howard and many of the other leaders discussed the crisis in East Timor. Mr. Howard has secured commitments from at least seven APEC leaders to commit troops to a United Nations- sanctioned peacekeeping force, if Jakarta approves it. Stability on the Korean peninsula was also a prominent topic. Many countries are watching to see if North Korea test-fires a long-range ballistic missile, as expected. Concern over the possible test was raised at a news conference by the Chinese foreign ministry. A Chinese official said Beijing is interested in seeing peace maintained between the two Korea's. After a meeting on that subject with President Clinton and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi said the three leaders agreed to cooperate on North Korean issues. The issue of Beijing's and Taipei's conflicting views on Taiwanese status was also raised. China's foreign ministry spokesman says Beijing strongly opposes what it calls the fallacy of the two-states policy recently raised by Taiwan's president. That policy reflects the Taiwanese leader's belief Beijing should treat Taipei as an equal. A Taiwanese official -- representing President Lee Teng-Hui -- told reporters China and Taiwan are two countries -- separately divided -- each with its own sovereignty. He says Taipei hopes to establish a basis for a future dialogue in which both sides stand as equal partners. Monday -- the last day of the summit -- the 21 APEC leaders will attend a retreat (closed-door gathering) and issue their final declaration on the APEC agenda for the coming year. (Signed) NEB / wd / wd 12-Sep-1999 06:06 AM LOC (12-Sep-1999 1006 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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