Japan emerging as a leader on trade liberalization, says APEC official Alan Bollard

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President Donald Trump may be talking tough on trade, pulling the U.
out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but most of the rest of the world is pushing ahead.
Japan was emerging as a leader on free trade, as it edges closer to a free trade pact with the European Union which could be completed within months.
"It`s an indication that other economies still think there`s a lot of benefit in free trade agreement negotiation," said Alan Bollard, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) secretariat executive director.
The East Asian country will also host chief negotiators of the 11 ex-U.
TPP countries later this month to discuss a deal without the U.
"Japan is showing quite a bit of leadership on trade liberalization," Bollard told CNBC`s "The Rundown" on Thursday.
Bollard said it was important to keep "the spirit of free trade alive.
" "We need to keep the understanding that it has moved a billion people out of extreme poverty in APEC alone.
We do know we need to do it differently," he said.
"But there will be a strong feeling from all around the APEC region that we keeping going multilateral on that not just revert to bilateral deals.
" APEC is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, which has 21 members, ranging from Australia across to Mexico, in a pact that aims to promote open trade and economic cooperation.
News of the Japan-EU pact`s progress came just ahead of a G-20 summit in Germany on Friday and Saturday, where trade will be a key topic.

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