Flag of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  • Acronym: APEC
  • Type: Intergovernmental Organization
  • Membership: 21 member economies
  • Establishment: Established on 6-7 November 1989
  • Official Language(s): English
  • Headquarters: Singapore

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific region. APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation History

APEC was established in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world. It was conceived as a forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and dramatically increasing exports.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Structure

The structure of APEC includes:

  • The APEC Leaders’ Meeting: The top decision-making body attended by the heads of government of all APEC members.
  • Ministerial Meetings: Regular meetings of ministers responsible for trade, foreign affairs, and economic matters.
  • Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM): Preparation meetings for the Ministers and Leaders’ meetings.
  • APEC Secretariat: Based in Singapore, responsible for coordinating the organization’s activities and supporting the various APEC forums.
  • Committees and Working Groups: Focus on specific areas such as trade and investment, business facilitation, economic and technical cooperation, and sectoral issues.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Membership

APEC has 21 members, referred to as “member economies” because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Objectives

Trade and Investment Liberalization

APEC works to reduce barriers to trade and investment to enable goods, services, and capital to flow freely among member economies.

Business Facilitation

APEC aims to make it easier, cheaper, and faster to do business in the Asia-Pacific region by improving the business environment.

Economic and Technical Cooperation

APEC promotes and facilitates economic and technical cooperation among member economies, to ensure that all economies can benefit from the increased trade and investment flows in the region.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Funding

APEC is funded by contributions from its member economies. The contributions are primarily for funding the operations of the APEC Secretariat and various projects and initiatives.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Projects

APEC Trade Repository (APECTR)

An online reference for trade and tariff information, making it easier for businesses to access information on regulations and market conditions in APEC economies.

APEC Economic Policy Report (AEPR)

An annual publication reviewing economic trends and policy developments in APEC member economies, focusing on a particular theme each year.

APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU)

Provides policy analysis and research to support the decision-making process of APEC members.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Members

Member Economies

APEC continues to play a crucial role in facilitating economic growth, cooperation, and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. Through its member economies’ collective efforts, APEC fosters a sense of community and works to ensure that goods, services, and investments move efficiently and freely across borders, benefiting the people of the region and contributing to global economic growth.

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