21 Nov 2008

Australia's Prime Minister keen for an Asia-Pacific community

11:24 am on 21 November 2008

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is standing by his plan for an Asia-Pacific community similar to the European Union, despite reports it's been poorly received by other nations in the region.

News Ltd reported former diplomat Richard Woolcott is set to tell Mr Rudd there is little appetite in the region for the new multilateral organisation.

Mr Woolcott, appointed by Mr Rudd as a special envoy to look into the plan, said the nations he'd spoken to favoured an expansion of existing regional institutions, such as APEC.

The opposition consequently called on Mr Rudd to abandon the plan.

But Mr Rudd told a Kokoda Foundation in Canberra that their ambition remains to create an Asia-Pacific Community by 2020.

Mr Rudd said he would discuss the plan with APEC leaders in Peru this weekend.