APEC members for punishing bribery in trade

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Lima, Feb 24 (IANS) Members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) said here that bribery in international trade transactions should be punished.

The members voiced this view at the 22nd meeting of APEC’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group.

“Corruption can discourage foreign and domestic investment, distort competition, and prevent the proper functioning of the markets, as well as raise the cost of public services and infrastructure projects,” Peru’s Attorney General Pablo Sanchez said.

Sanchez, who was presiding over the working group, is also chief of Peru’s High-Level Anti-Corruption Commission.

“It is a challenge to safeguard the member economies of APEC with the legal mechanisms needed to prevent this criminal practice from going unpunished due to deficiencies in their legal frameworks,” Sanchez said.

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The meeting, he added, offers the bloc’s 21 members a valuable opportunity to exchange best practices and experiences in the fight against corruption, and to learn about new anti-graft initiatives presented by international organizations.

APEC’s 21 members include Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and the US.

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