Backgrounder: APEC

11:21, November 09, 2010      

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week meetings opened Sunday in Japan's second largest city of Yokohama with the start of the two-day Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting.

This year's APEC series meetings also include the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting on Nov. 8-10, annual Ministerial Meeting on Nov. 10-11, a CEO Summit on Nov. 12-13 and the 17th Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov. 13-14.

APEC is a forum which facilitates economic cooperation among 21 nations and regions in the Asia-Pacific area.

With an economic magnitude accounting for around 50 percent the world's GDP, and 40 percent of both the world's population and world trade, APEC is working on areas such as trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, human security, and economic and technical cooperation, aiming to achieve sustainable growth and prosperity for the region.

In 1989, former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke broached the idea of establishing a forum for sustainable economic growth and regional cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region. The proposal was supported by the United States, ASEAN, and other nations, and the wheels were soon set in motion. The first APEC Ministerial Meeting was held later in the year, in Canberra, Australia.

The APEC is the only inter-governmental organization in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants.

In 1994, at the Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, the APEC Economic Leaders' Declaration of Common Resolve (Bogor Declaration) was adopted. The declaration included the Bogor Goals, which pledged APEC's intent to achieve free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies, and 2020 for developing economies.

2010 is the target year for the APEC industrialized economies to achieve the Bogor Goals as well as a major milestone for APEC.

The APEC currently has 21 member economies: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China' Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Amid the significant changes in global political and economic conditions, APEC Japan 2010 has adopted the theme "Change and Action," whereby APEC should build upon its past successes to propose necessary "changes" and execute concrete "actions" to ensure that it will continue to play an important role in the future.

Source: Xinhua


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