The fact that the APEC summit took place in the midst of the Asian currency crisis concentrated minds on the pressing issues which the region must address if it is to avoid a rolling pattern of currency turmoil and economic downturn. In Vancouver, the leaders confirmed that they will stick to trade liberalisation and lowering tariff barriers. A package of nine industries for early voluntary free trade gives a firm indication that APEC leaders see liberalisation as the way out of their problems, and as proof to the outside world that there is still ample reason for confidence in the region's growth potential. However, recovery will take more than the determination of APEC members to set their house in order. It will need the support of other economies - among other things, President Bill Clinton needs to make a fresh effort to persuade Congress that extending fast-track trade authority is the right idea. But the scale of the problem is such that everybody has an interest in resolving the difficulties in Asia. For APEC, the first task is to implement the Manila Agreement drafted by finance ministers last week in advance of the summit, and aimed at improving regional surveillance and offering funds to supplement IMF emergency loans. But this should not become a mechanism for side-stepping the medicine which has to be swallowed with such loans. If the turmoil of recent weeks has taught any lessons, it is that transparency and strong regulatory measures in the financial sector are the best guarantee of economic stability. Asian countries should have noted the message of Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo who told the meeting that the only way to cope with a financial crisis was to reveal the truth of the situation and introduce the right set of measures to restore growth. If Vancouver suggests that the will is there, the important thing now is for firm action and requisite political determination, rather than more talk. The longer governments seek to avoid the pain of putting their houses in order, the deeper the crisis will become, and the wider its effects far from the shores of the APEC nations.