Leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum have begun a two-day summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali to discuss trade, economies, security and other issues in the Asia-Pacific.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono opened Monday's session by saying that the 21 member nations need to work together to recover from the downturn in the world economy.
Speaking to Asia's top corporate executives at a parallel summit for CEOs, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to forge ahead with promised reforms to boost Japan's stagnant economy.
Media reports said the summit declaration, which will be released Tuesday, will stress the need for structural reforms to increase productivity, labor force participation and high-quality job creation in the region.
Twelve APEC members are engaged in negotiations for a free trade area called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
U.S. President Barack Obama had hoped to attend the APEC forum to promote his goal of securing a TPP agreement by the end of this year, but he was forced to skip the forum due to domestic budgetary disputes that led to the partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government.