Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan urged Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers to once again underline their commitment to strengthening multilateral trade through the World Trade Organization (WTO).

APEC plays an important role as an incubator for ideas, he noted through a statement on Saturday.

Due to this, the APEC has to continue to innovate and provide a clear thinking agenda toward the multilateral trade system to reduce poverty and income inequality as well as create inclusive growth, he stated.

Hasan also stressed that collaboration is key, so active participation of APEC trade ministers and policy makers can create solutions to various existing economic challenges, including in strengthening the multilateral trade system.

At the earlier ministerial conference, the WTO was found to be capable of producing agreements and being involved in handling the pandemic situation, he remarked.

Due to this, Indonesia expects that APEC trade ministers can maintain this momentum and encourage to have the 13th Ministerial Conference in 2024 to be able to provide significant results, he added.

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Hasan also noted that the WTO is facing challenges to conduct reformation in the form of improving its main functions and also tackling pressures to handle inequality.

To strengthen the WTO, its basic principles should be upheld, specifically improvement over provisions of special treatment for developing and underdeveloped countries.

APEC trade ministers should also agree to formulate a solution to the dispute resolution problem and resolve crisis in the Appellate Body, Hasan emphasized.

Moreover, to make the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference a success, he also invited APEC trade ministers to provide a political push to continue substantive and balanced negotiations.

This should be done during the discussion on matters related to agriculture, such as public stockholding and special safeguard mechanism, as well as fishery subsidy and service along with new issues, such as e-commerce, investment facilities, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

APEC is a cooperation forum between 21 economies around the Pacific Ocean. APEC's main activity encompasses economic cooperation, such as in trade and investment, to encourage growth and improve prosperity in the Asia Pacific.

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Translator: Aji Cakti, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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