Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries or regions to discuss the regional economy, cooperation, trade and investment. The activities, including year-round meetings of the members' ministers, are coordinated by the APEC Secretariat. The organization conducts the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, an annual summit attended by the heads of government of all APEC members which is represented under the name Chinese Taipei by a ministerial-level official at the behest of the People's Republic of China (PRC). In January 1989, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke called for more effective economic cooperation across the Pacific Rim region. This led to the first meeting of APEC in the Australian capital Canberra in November, chaired by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans. Attended by political ministers from twelve countries, the meeting concluded with commitments for future annual meetings in Singapore and South Korea. The initial proposal was opposed by countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which instead proposed the East Asia Economic Caucus which would exclude non-Asian countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The plan was opposed and strongly criticized by Japan and the United States.
The first APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting occurred in 1993 when US president Bill Clinton, after discussions with Australian prime minister Paul Keating, invited the heads of government from member economies to a summit on Blake Island. At the summit, some leaders called for continued reduction of barriers to trade and investment, envisioning a community in the Asia-Pacific region that might promote prosperity through cooperation. The APEC Secretariat, based in Singapore, was established to coordinate the activities of the organization.

Member economy Date of accession
Australia 1989
Brunei 1989
Canada 1989
Indonesia 1989
Japan 1989
Republic of Korea 1989
Malaysia 1989
New Zealand 1989
Philippines 1989
Singapore 1989
Thailand 1989
United States 1989
Republic of China 1991
Hong Kong, China 1991
RRC 1991
Mexico 1993
Papua New Guinea 1993
Chile 1994
Peru 1998
Russia 1998
Vietnam 1998

India has requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan and Australia. In addition to India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Laos, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ecuador, are among a dozen countries seeking membership in APEC by 2008. Colombia applied for APEC's membership as early as in 1995, but its bid was halted as the organization stopped accepting new members from 1993 to 1996, and the moratorium was further prolonged to 2007 due to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Guam has also been actively seeking a separate membership, citing the example of Hong Kong, but the request is opposed by the United States, which currently represents Guam.
Source: wikipedia, Posted after editing


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