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APEC Leaders Agree to Chart New Growth in Asia Pacific

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Leaders of Pacific Rim nations have agreed to work toward a new pattern of regional growth.

In a statement released Sunday, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting in Singapore acknowledged the leading role Asia Pacific nations have taken in the global economic recovery. But they said their regional economies can not return to growth as usual.

The 21 Pacific Rim economies agree a new growth strategy is needed to meet the needs of the global economy.

He said, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong read an outline of the statement to APEC leaders. He said, "We will pursue growth which is balanced, inclusive, and sustainable, to ensure a durable recovery that will create jobs and benefit people."

During the last day of meetings Sunday, APEC leaders also held discussions about climate change.

They agreed a legally binding agreement to lower greenhouse gas emissions was not likely by a December meeting in Copenhagen, but a framework for further negotiations was possible.

Pacific Rim leaders dropped a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions from a draft statement. But, Mr. Lee's outline mentioned their concerns. "To achieve sustainable growth, we will work towards an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen and ensure that efforts to mitigate climate change are consistent with our international trade obligations," said Mr. Lee.

U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech to APEC leaders Sunday saying they needed a growth model that would allow all nations to grow and raise living standards without damaging the environment.

APEC leaders meeting this past week in Singapore said high unemployment was a sign that the global economic recovery is still fragile and protectionism a concern.

The APEC statement says free trade and open markets are key for continued prosperity in the Asia Pacific.