INDONESIA'S President Suharto opened a meeting of Asian-Pacific ministers yesterday with a call for accelerated trade liberalisation in a drive to create the world's largest free-trade zone. The two-day talks will lay guidelines for Tuesday's summit at nearby Bogor, which will bring together presidents and other leaders. 'I do hope that our meeting in Bogor will produce a basic agreement on the co-operation among APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation] members that will accelerate trade liberalisation and investment among us,' Mr Suharto said at the presidential palace in Jakarta. The 18 APEC countries are Australia, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Chile. Chile took its seat yesterday as the final member allowed to join for at least the next two years. A moratorium on new members has been imposed until November 1996 to give the forum time to consolidate. The APEC leaders are to discuss a commitment to liberalise trade within the huge Asia-Pacific region. If agreed upon and carried out, ambitious proposals could turn the region into the most open trading area in the world by 2020. 'Such an effort requires closer co-operation among us to accommodate the diversity of stages of economic development among our individual members,' Mr Suharto said. In his speech, the president, 73, also said the APEC countries had pledged to exert maximum efforts to ratify the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) so that it could be operational by January 1, 1995. 'I am pleased that the ministers in charge of trade, in their meeting in Jakarta, have resolved that our obligations be fulfilled effectively and consistently. 'Accordingly, they have agreed that APEC members will exert maximum efforts to ratify the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) so that it could be operational by January 1, 1995. 'The fulfilment of our commitments will encourage the flow of investment and trade in this region and in the world.' President Suharto said that Indonesia had adopted the bill of ratification of the establishment of the WTO on November 4. He said that trade and investment liberalisation conducted individually could attain a higher economic growth - a departure from earlier sentiments expressed by many APEC members who hoped for trade liberalisation according to a time schedule as recommended by the Eminent Persons' Group and the Pacific Business Forum. 'Our experience has proved that trade and investment liberalisation conducted individually can attain a higher economic growth, compared to the average economic growth in other parts of the world. 'Therefore we resolve to continue and promote the endeavour to facilitate the flow of investment and trade, both ourselves and for other regions.' He said that APEC was never designed to evolve as an exclusive and closed trading bloc. 'We have adopted concrete measures to strive for the establishment of open, free and fair global trade.