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APEC summit wraps up with growth pledge

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit wrapped up in Russia on Sunday with the 21-member group's pledge to work together to enhance trade and restore confidence in the world’s financial markets.

A joint statement released at the end of the two days of talks on an island off the Russian port of Vladivostok also focused on the impact of the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis and what APEC's member states could do to limit the impact on their economies.

"The events in Europe are adversely affecting growth in the region," the statement read. "In such circumstances, we are resolved to work collectively to support growth and foster financial stability, and restore confidence."

The statement welcomed "European leaders' commitment to take all necessary measures to safeguard the integrity and stability of the euro area."

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who attended the final day of talks, reiterated her support for a plan by the European Central Bank to buy bonds from crisis-ridden eurozone economies in order to bring down their borrowing costs.

"We are keen to help, we're always ready to respond to members' demands," Lagarde said.

"Clearly, when we get involved, we want to be involved in the design and monitoring of programs," she said. "We don't particularly want to do monitoring without having participated actively in the design."

The APEC leaders' statement also highlighted international trade, investment and economic integration as "key driver(s) of strong, sustainable and balanced growth."

APEC, which includes the world's three largest economies - the United States, China and Japan - was established in 1989 to support economic growth and prosperity in the region.

pfd/tj (Reuters, AP, dpa)