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Kevin Rudd heads to APEC meeting

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Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is travelling to Honolulu today to attend the 23rd annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting. APEC currently accounts for 56 percent of the world's GDP and more than two-thirds of Australia's trade in goods and services. "Over 70 percent of Australian exports go to APEC economies. Australian exports to APEC economies are equivalent to over $20,000 per Australian household. APEC is an integral part of the economic success of the Asia-Pacific region and has directly benefited Australian households, delivering jobs and income to Australian families," Rudd said. Bringing together 21 economies from across the Asia Pacific, the APEC ministerial meetings are the major annual event on the APEC calendar. APEC began as an initiative of the Hawke Government in 1989. Since then, Australia's GDP has grown by more than 92 percent as a result of productivity gains, structural reform and benefits accruing from global trade liberalisation.

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