Financial crisis to be overcome within 2 years - APEC
“A new commitment to Asia Pacific Development” was the official theme of APEC 2008.
Yet instead of focusing on the official theme, the gathering was dominated by the world economy, and George W. Bush both covering old ground and saying goodbye to his foreign counterparts.
“We agreed to keep our markets open and firmly reject protectionism,” George W. Bush said at the APEC summit.
Free trade was Bush's key theme when he hosted this month's G20 emergency summit in Washington, and some say APEC was simply a continuation of the same rhetoric. The speech again included the Russian President, who carried the evidence in his pocket: the press notes from the previous summit. Point number four on the notes is of special interest, which was “reject protectionism”.
The U.S. and Russia can agree on some issues despite difficulties, as both leaders pointed out in their last official tête-à-tête. And unofficially, we could next see them fishing as friends once Bush leaves the White House.
“I’ve just invited George Bush to come to Russia after he leaves office. He loved the idea. He likes it in Russia,” Dmitry Medvedev said.
Despite the cordial farewell, Russia still holds hope that next year's change in Washington will mark a new beginning, especially over sticking points such as missile defence systems in Europe, as well as the expansion of NATO.
“As for our relations with the new U.S. administration, I hope it’ll be constructive partnership. The contact I had with the President Elect left the impression that we can expect the same approach on the part of the U.S.” Dmitry Medvedev said.
Barack Obama will be U.S. president the next time both APEC and the G20 meet and some are already looking forward to the occasion, but sometimes you can’t help but look back on the previous administration.