Backgrounder: Basic facts about APEC

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-10-7 8:39:25

Leaders from the Pacific Rim economies are gathering in Indonesia's resort island of Bali from October 1 to 8 for a sequence of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ( APEC) meetings.

As a 21-member forum, APEC seeks to boost free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

It operates in areas such as trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, human security and economic and technical cooperation, aiming to facilitate economic growth and trade and investment in the region.

The notion of establishing a forum for promoting sustainable economic growth and regional cooperation within the Asia-Pacific region was first raised by former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of the region and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.

The first APEC Ministerial Meeting was held later that year in Canberra, Australia.

An inter-governmental organization that works on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants, APEC accounts for around 50 percent of the world's total GDP and 40 percent of both the world's population and world trade.

At the meeting in 1994 in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC leaders adopted the Bogor Goals that targets free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies.

The APEC secretariat, based in Singapore, was established in 1993 to coordinate activities of the organization at various levels.

APEC's institutional framework consists of the Economic Leaders ' Meeting, the Ministerial Meeting, the Senior Officials' Meeting, a committee and special working groups.

APEC currently groups 21 members, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's 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. The location of the meeting rotates annually among APEC members.

It has three observers, namely the ASEAN Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the Pacific Islands Forum.

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