SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The 27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-27) wrapped up here on Wednesday, proposing solutions to many challenges that the region and the world are facing, according to a joint communique.
Opened by Cambodian National Assembly President Samdech Heng Samrin and Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Tuesday, the forum brought together 331 delegates from 21 countries, discussing a number of topics including economic and trade matters, political and security issues, and regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, among others, the communique said.
ECONOMIC AND TRADE MATTERS
Key issues identified were protectionism, unilateralism and inequality, it said, adding that some proposed solutions are to enhance open and inclusive multilateralism and to strengthen free trade.
"The delegates highlighted the need to build strong institutions to promote trade and investment for sustainable inclusive growth," the communique said. "We reiterated our commitment to fight against protectionism to achieve our common goal of free trade and investment in the region."
The delegates also discussed promoting access to finance, science, technology and innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and called for regional cooperation to encourage investment in education along with vocational training and lifelong learning to meet SME requirement of critical skills in the changing global business environment.
"In addition, we discussed enhancing regional connectivity through e-commerce and called for investment in telecommunications infrastructure and harmonized rules, regulations and legislation governing digital trade to promote the free flow of goods and services in the region," it said.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY ISSUES
Main issues raised included lack of political trust, and non-traditional security threats including terrorism, transnational crimes, cyber security, Rohingya crisis, and peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, the communique said.
"Some suggested policies to address these issues include developing mechanisms to strengthen mutual trust for peace and security, promoting collective efforts to resolve the root-causes of terrorism, advancing cooperation on cyber security and digital literacy," it said.
Concerning the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the delegations noted the positive developments and expressed a desire for a diplomatic resolution of the remaining issues, it said, adding that the delegates hoped that the upcoming summit between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will bring concrete results.
REGIONAL COOPERATION IN ASIA-PACIFIC
Key issues discussed included climate change, cultural exchange and cooperation, and disaster risk reduction, said the communique.
Proposed solutions covered building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change and global warming, it said, adding that promoting cultural diversity and furthering investment in disaster risk reduction are also essential.
The communique said the delegates underscored the commitment to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, especially the principles for mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies and enhancing civilization connectivity.
The delegates also raised the important role of the Asian Cultural Council in promoting the synergies of culture and peace and sustainable development.
The delegates also urged the APPF member countries to foster global and regional cooperation mechanisms such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Belt and Road Initiative, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), among others.
According to the communique, Australia will host the APPF-28 in 2020.