MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries have issued strong support for the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements.
The ministers vowed Sunday at the end of their two-day meeting on the central Philippine resort island of Boracay to ratify by December a landmark trade facilitation deal and to contribute to a work program to conclude the much-delayed Doha round of trade negotiations.
The ministers said they would rectify trade measures consistent with WTO provisions but which have a significant protectionist effect.
They also said they'd endorse measures bolstering micro enterprises' ability to take part in global trade. Small companies comprise 97 percent of businesses in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation grouping of nations, and contribute significantly to employment and poverty alleviation.