The meeting of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) ministers responsible for trade kicked off its two-day sessions on Thursday morning at Jeju island, the South Korean southmost resort island.
The ministerial conference is aimed at giving trade ministers an opportunity to hold bilateral meetings and discuss pending issues prior to the APEC summit scheduled for Nov. 15-19 in Busan, a South Korean port city located some 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
Other topics to be addressed in the meeting include the need to make progress on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) and free trade agreement (FTA) discussions among the 21 members.
Trade ministers also will discuss intellectual property rights,responses to natural disasters like the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia late last year, corruption and APEC reform.
Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai are participating in the meeting.
In the first day of the meeting, all sessions will be held behind the door. The meeting will be ended after holding a plenary session on Friday, according to the schedule.
APEC, founded in 1989, consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea,Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.