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APEC mulls infrastructure advances

Kyodo

Transport ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum gathered Thursday in Tokyo to discuss ways to enhance transportation and increase the free flow of people, goods and capital across the region.

In the first APEC transport ministers’ meeting held in Japan, ministers and minister-level government officials of the 21 APEC economies will focus on such topics as how to prepare for disasters in light of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and how it disrupted global supply chains.

“By transporting more people and goods faster, more efficiently and more safely, the Asia-Pacific region (economies) can connect more deeply with one another and achieve further growth,” host transport minister Akihiro Ota said at the opening of the conference.

Other topics to be covered in the session include the promotion of policy cooperation in international logistics, measures to promote infrastructure investments and how to enhance high-speed transportation networks.

The participants were scheduled to hold a joint news conference following the one-day meeting.

The ministerial meeting is a precursor to the APEC summit in October in Bali, Indonesia.

The 21 APEC economies are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.