The director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said Saturday that the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) would be compatible with the WTO's multilateral trade systems.
"Any move towards trade liberalization and against trade protectionism is a good move," Roberto Azevedo told a press conference on the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Beijing.
He believed that the FTAAP agreements, if concluded, would be compatible with multilateral trade systems and would complement the WTO based in Geneva.
Earlier on Saturday, ministers of the APEC members reached consensus on the Beijing Roadmap for APEC to push forward the FTAAP process. When established, the FTAAP would be one of the largest FTAs in the world, covering about half of global economy and trade.
On the three major topics raised by China at the APEC meeting, which are advancing regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth and strengthening comprehensive development in infrastructure and connectivity, Azevedo said regional connectivity would help push forward trade facilitation process in the region.
"Anything that makes trade easier and anything that liberalizes trade will be welcomed by the WTO," the director-general said, adding that he hoped the APEC would go ahead with this initiative and it could be fully implemented.
On promoting innovative development and economic reform, Azevedo believed innovation is reform by definition as they are changing things for development and introducing better ways of doing things.
He said promoting trade facilitation is a kind of important reform, and some countries and areas in the world have deepened reform in infrastructure, capacity and resources to facilitate imports and exports of goods and services.