HONOLULU, Hawaii — President Obama welcomed Asian-Pacific leaders to the APEC summit today, saying their ultimate goal is to create a “seamless regional economy” to boost growth and job creation in their 21 countries.
“It’s time to get down to work, and we have much to do. Our 21 economies — our nearly 3 billion citizens — are looking to us to bring our economies closer, to increase exports, to expand trade and opportunity that creates jobs and economic growth. That’s why we’re here,” the president said.
Obama said APEC can accomplish this goal by increasing trade, promoting green jobs and streamlining regulations to encourage job creation. “I’m confident that we can continue to make significant progress during the course of this day,” he said.
The president also continued to stress that the region is “absolutely critical to America’s economic growth.”
“We consider it a top priority because we’re not going to be able to put our folks back to work and grow our economy and expand opportunity unless the Asia Pacific region is also successful,” Obama said.
Monday the president will participate in a dialogue with APEC Business Advisory Council members and have a working lunch with APEC leaders before facing the press in a news conference later in the afternoon.