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APEC meet expected to help kick start stalled global trade talks news
17 November 2006

Chinese President Hu Jintao has urged wealthy nations to invest more in developing countries in Asia, warning that "economic imbalances" in the region would persist otherwise.

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Vietnam, Hu said developing countries would not benefiting fully from globalisation unless developed countries were willing to co-operate to promote technological and financial development, "with no strings attached."

The Chinese president stressed that China itself would encourage foreign investment by opening its services sector to competition and improving protection for intellectual property.

The APEC summit got underway today at the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

US President George W Bush, who arrived in Vietnam yesterday for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit, is expected to focus on trade relations, and has called on the 21-nation forum to put stalled world trade talks back on track.

The US is among the key non-Asian participants

World Trade Organization talks on free trade have been stalled since July, after the failure of an agreement over how to cut the big agricultural subsidies by Western countries.

On his stop over at Singapore yesterday en route to Hanoi, Bush who is the second US president to visit Vietnam since the end of the US-Vietnam war in the ''70s, vowed to maintain strong US engagement in Asia and said a regional free trade area must be "seriously considered."

Ahead of the trip the US House of Representatives refused to pass a historic trade bill seeking normalisation with communist ruled Vietnam, considered a setback for the US president ahead of his trip at a time when other countries have been attracted by its strong growth in to strengthening trade ties with Hanoi.

Bush also warned North Korea against nuclear weapons proliferation, asking it to seek "a peaceful path" instead. He is also expected to promote democratic reforms among the APEC nations.

During his visit, Bush will hold talks with his Russian Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Hu Jintao of China, Japanese premiere Shinzo Abe and South Korea''s President Roh Moo-hyun and, among others.

He is also is expected to sign a trade deal with Russia facilitating its admission to the WTO.


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APEC meet expected to help kick start stalled global trade talks