Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) should be the top topic discussed at the on-going Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Beijing, a survey has found.
A report of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) annual survey said the FTAAP can unleash much greater economic vigor than other regional trade arrangements, and, if completed, will add an estimated 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars to the global economy.
The report estimated that Trans-Pacific Partnership's (TPP's) contribution to the global economy will be about 223 billion U.S. dollars and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) about 644 billion dollars.
"Although APEC is not a platform for trade negotiation, it clearly has an increasingly important role to play in facilitating the preparatory work and efforts towards materializing an FTAAP," said Don Campbell, a co-chair of PECC.
The building of FTAAP is "closely connected to APEC's overall mission," Campbell added.
The survey was made among some 600 government officials, business people, academic researchers and the press in APEC economies.
Respondents ranked "the building of FTAAP," "innovative development, economic reform and growth" and "APEC overall growth strategy" top three priorities of 2014 APEC Beijing meetings.
Edurado Pedrosa, secretary general of PECC, said all of these priorities show that APEC agenda has been "on the right track," and the challenge is "turning the cooperative process into concrete actions."
PECC, a non-governmental official observer of APEC, is a network of member committees composed of individuals and institutions dedicated to promoting cooperation across the Asia Pacific region.