Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

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An inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an intergovernmental organization with 21 member economies that advocates free trade in the Pacific Rim. In 1989, APEC was founded in reaction to the expanding economic interdependence of the region and the emergence of regional trade blocs elsewhere in the world.

APEC aims to enhance economic growth, strengthen community and foster regional integration among its members. Some of the main activities and achievements of APEC include:
  • Promoting the Bogor Goals, which set a goal of free and open trade and investment in the area by 2020 for developed nations and by 2020 for emerging economies, in order to facilitate the liberalization of trade and investment.
  • Creating and putting into practice the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, which establishes a common goal for a free, vibrant, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific region by that year.
  • Assisting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to participate in green growth, access international markets, and use digital technology.
  • Promoting women's economic empowerment and inclusion by removing obstacles to their employment, developing their skills and leadership, and encouraging their entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • Developing physical, institutional, and interpersonal connections throughout the region and fostering collaboration on high-quality infrastructure standards and financing to improve regional connectivity and infrastructure development.
  • Addressing shared issues and possibilities in the fields of human security, digital economy, artificial intelligence, anti-corruption, and food, energy, and health security.

APEC runs on the principles of open communication, non-binding promises, and respect for the opinions of all participants. The Secretariats of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, the Association of Southeast Asian States, and the Pacific Islands Forum are the three official observers to APEC. According to G20 standards, the Host Economy of the Year for APEC is regarded as being invited first to G20 meetings for geographic representation.