Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum of 21 member countries most with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. It includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia and Vietnam. It also includes three official observers: ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.
APEC Economic Leaders' Meetings are annual meetings attended by the head of state of each member economies - the location of which rotates to a new member country each year. These meetings are not called summits. Leaders use the APEC meeting as an opportunity to discuss trade initiatives such as the Shanghai Accord (in 2001) and the Doha round of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It has also been a forum for discussing issues on the agenda such as terrorism (2003) and North Korea's nuclear tests and nuclear proliferation (2006).
APEC carries out work in three main areas in order to meet the "Boger Goals" of free and open trade and investment in the asia-pacific. These areas of work are known as APEC's Three Pillars:1
- Trade and investment liberalisation
- Business facilitation
- Economic and technical cooperation
The official voice of business in APEC is encouraging the organization to take part in a renewed interest in regional economic integration. APEC economies are encouraged to deepen regional economic integration as a means of promoting sustained economic growth, especially in light of the slow down in economic growth in Asia in 2012-2013. This was the focus of the 3rd meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) held in Koyoto in July 2013.2
* Dark green - current memebers; light green - applicants
1. How APEC Operates: Scope of Work. Retrieved from http://www.apec.org/About-Us/How-APEC-Operates/Scope-of-Work.aspx
2. Asia-Pacific Business Leaders To Urge APEC Economies to Adapt to New Business Realities in Promoting Regional Economic Integration. July 2013. Retrieved from http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2013/0711_business.aspx