Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC is the only inter-governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. Unlike the WTO or other multilateral trade bodies, APEC has no treaty obligations required of its participants. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.
APEC has 21 members - referred to as "Member Economies" - which account for some 41% of the world's population, approximately 54.2% of world GDP and about 44% of world trade.
APEC's 21 Member Economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States of America; Viet Nam.
APEC Member Economies which are also members of ASEAN include: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
APEC brings together leaders, ministers, senior officials and business representatives, who meet regularly to drive the APEC agenda forward and implement policies and projects across three key areas, known as APEC's Three Pillars:
- Trade and investment liberalization
- Business facilitation
- Economic and technical cooperation
Since the first APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in 1993, the role of APEC host has rotated each year between member economies. APEC was hosted by the United States in 2011, Russia in 2012, Indonesia in 2013, and China in 2014. In 2015 the Philippines will host APEC.
As host for 2015, the Philippines is responsible for organizing a series of key APEC meetings and related events throughout the year, including the APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting, APEC Trade Ministers’ Meeting, APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting, the APEC CEO Summit and the APEC Leaders' Summit. The Philippines also undertakes the important task of agenda-setting and coordination amongst the APEC member economies, as well as deciding on policy direction, theme for the year and chairing the various meetings.
For additional information please visit the National Center for APEC website at http://www.ncapec.org/