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APEC CEO Summit Closes with Appeal for Joint Action on Crisis

The 2008 CEO Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum closed in Lima on Saturday with an appeal for joint action to tackle the global financial crisis and facilitate trade liberalization.

During the two-day meeting, leaders and business dignitaries from the 21 APEC member economies conducted comprehensive dialogue under the theme of "Growth, Equity and Sustainable Development: Challenge for APEC."

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday urged the APEC business community to play "an important role" in coping with the ongoing financial crisis.

Addressing the CEO summit, Hu said the business community is a major player in promoting world economic development as well as sound and stable international economic and trade relations.

"It has an important role to play in tackling the global financial crisis and keeping the world economy on an even keel," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, US President George W. Bush called on world economies to keep their markets open and reject protectionism to overcome the global financial storm.

World leaders must maintain "the power of free market," Bush said in a speech at the summit, adding that rebuilding confidence is the only way to regain strength and sustain economic growth.

Some 1,200 participants attended the CEO summit, part of the APEC Leaders' Week from Nov. 16-23. A total of 19 leaders are scheduled to attend the annual APEC summit over the weekend.

Established in 1989, APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong SAR, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2008)

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