APEC trade and foreign ministers line up for group photos in Vladivostok, Russia. (file photo)
Russia will be hosting a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the world economy's center of gravity is shifting away from Europe and the United States and toward Asia-Pacific countries such as China and Russia, Reuters reported.
"The world is moving into a new economic and technological era… and it is up to us gathered here to meet these changes intelligently and pragmatically,” he told officials of the 21-member APEC forum in Vladivostok. “We want to create a regional economic engine. Russia will be part of that."
"Russia supports the strengthening of… regional integration built on common understanding and with the mutual interests of close geographical partners taken into account," Putin stated.
Food security and trade liberalization are expected to be the focal point of discussions at the APEC summit.
Senior APEC officials expressed alarm on Thursday over the worsening global economic outlook and called for more action to thwart the rise in trade protectionism.
"We note with concern the IMF's downward projection for global economic growth for this and next year and the rise in protectionist instances around the world," a joint statement from the APEC forum said. "These developments increase the urgency of further action to keep markets open."
APEC brings together countries around the Pacific Rim which account for 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of its economic output, and 44 percent of trade.