Government leaders of 21 countries, all members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), agreed Sunday in the Japanese city of Yokohama to refrain from imposing any fresh barriers to trade and investment, or measures to stimulate exports, until the end of 2013.

The declaration titled “Yokohama Vision” said: “We commit to take steps to roll back trade distorting measures introduced during the (financial) crisis”.

Despite differences among several government leaders over currency policies which saw Asian currencies appreciated against the US dollar in recent months and other issues, several leaders at the two-day meeting appeared to agree on the significant role freer trade can play in sparking growth. They also agreed on the need to reduce trade imbalances and government debt and avoid sharp, potentially disruptive fluctuations in exchange rates, according to the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

via APEC leaders agree to boost trade, investment; Australia, Canada to widen trade with Thailand.

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