Apec fails to agree on leaders’ communique for first time in its history

PORT MORESBY (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea will release a formal closing statement for the regional Apec forum in coming days, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on Sunday (Nov 18), as the 21-member body was unable to agree on a leaders’ statement for the first time in its history.

In his closing comments to the forum, O’Neill also said the group was trying to ensure “free and open” trade by 2020.

Conflicting visions for the region has made it difficult to draft a summit communique, Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato told Reuters earlier, as the United States and China revealed competing ambitions for the region.

A Chinese official said earlier on Sunday (Nov 18) that Papua New Guinea will instead issue a “chairman’s statement”.

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