Nations must "keep their promises to the developing world"
US President George W Bush said Saturday in Lima that the governments of industrialized nations "have to keep their promises to the developing world," even in time of crisis, dpa reported.
Speaking to business leaders ahead of the 16th annual Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Peru, Bush - set to leave the White House in January after eight years in office - noted that the benefits of free trade "are beyond doubt."
"We agree to keep our markets open and firmly reject protectionism," he said.
Bush made a strong call to conclude the Doha Round of talks at the World Trade Organization (WTO), which are currently stalling over disagreements on agricultural subsidies.
"We refuse to accept protectionism in the 21st Century," he said.
Bush, who is set to hand over power to Barack Obama in just two months, told economic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region that Washington will not forsake the region and that it will continue to cooperate with its nations "long after this crisis has passed."
"Our partners can be confident that the compassion agenda of the United States will continue," Bush stressed.