Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

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Type: Economic Forum
Founded: 1989
Headquarters: Singapore
Country: Singapore
Key People
Ambassador Muhamad Noor Yacob, Executive Director

APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) is a ministerial forum that supports economic growth and prosperity in the Asia Pacific Region by promoting free trade and economic cooperation among its member economies. Ambassador Muhamad Noor Yacob is the current Executive Director of APEC and its Secretariat is located in Singapore.


In 1990, APEC created the APEC Telecommunications (APEC TEL) Working Group to help improve the telecommunications and information infrastructures in the Asia Pacific Region. The Working Group's priority areas involve: [1]

  • reduction of digital divide
  • next generation networks and technologies
  • e-government,mutual recognition arrangements
  • regulatory reform
  • capacity building
  • protecting information and communications infrastructure
  • cyber security
  • advancement of Asia Pacific Information Society

ICANN holds a guest status at APEC TEL Meetings.[2]

In 2001, APEC created the e-APEC Strategy to create an environment for strengthening market structures and institutions, facilitate an environment for infrastructure investment and technology development, and enhance human capacity building and promote entrepreneurship. The e-APEC e-Task Force developed the goals, policies and action plans. One of the actions implemented by the e-Task Force is the encouragement of APEC economies to participate in the activities of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN in order to coordinate policies on public Internet resource governance.

In October, 2008, ICANN attended the APEC TEL Liberalization Steering Group meeting in Lima Peru as an observer and provided an updated information about the internet governing body's new gTLD program.[3]


Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke advocated the establishment of new intergovernmental regional cooperation during his speech in Seoul, Korea in January, 1989. He proposed that the new intergovernmental regional organization would focus on common economic interests, social issues and aim to increase the trade and investments within the Asia Pacific Region. The regional response to Hawke's proposal was positive, with some reservations. An extreme consultation within the region was conducted by Australian officials, which was led by former Australian Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Richard Woolcot, who was appointed as special envoy of Prime Minister Hawke. APEC was founded during the first Ministerial Meeting, which was held in Canberra, Australia on November 5-7, 1989. The meeting was chaired by Australian Forein Minister Gareth Evans.[4] The 12 founding members of APEC include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. The founding members agreed that an open, multilateral trading system is paramount to attaining rapid regional economic growth; they concentrated their cooperation in the areas of investment, technology transfer, and in areas related to human resources development.[5]

A ten-year moratorium on APEC membership was implemented in 1997, in 2007 it was extended until 2010.

APEC General Principles

APEC's general principles were unanimously instituted by its founding members during the Canberra Ministerial Meeting in 1989, they include:[6]

  • APEC's objective is to enhance economic cooperation in order to maintain the growth and development of the region and contribute to the global economic growth and development, buy best essay.
  • The diversity of the region, different social and economic systems as well as the current levels of development should be recognized in the Cooperation.
  • Cooperation should include commitment to open dialogue, consensus and equal respect for all participants and their views or opinions.
  • Cooperation should be based on non-formal exchanges of consultations among Asia Pacific economies.
  • The focus of cooperation should be on economic areas where there is an opportunity for progress on common interests.
  • Asia Pacific economies should consistently cooperate on strengthening the open, multilateral system and should not be involved in creating a trading block.
  • Asian Pacific Cooperation should endeavor to strengthen the gains from independence for both the regional and world economy by encouraging the flow of goods, services, capital, and technology.
  • Cooperation should compliment and move towards existing organizations in the region including intergovernmental bodies and less formal consultative bodies such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEA) and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC).
  • Participation of other Asian Pacific economies may be expanded in the future based on consensus among, and evaluated based on the strength of economic linkages within the region.

The Bogor Goals

The primary objective of APEC was identified during the Bogor Meeting in Indonesia in 1994. In the Bogor Goals, member economies agreed to achieve a "free and open trade investment in the Asia Pacific Region by 2010 for industrialized countries and by 2020 for developing countries.

Economic Leaders Meeting

APEC conducted its meetings via informal senior official and ministerial dialogues until 1992. By 1993, former U.S. President Bill Clinton initiated the establishment of the yearly APEC Economic Leader Meeting (ELM). The first ELM was held in Blake Island, in Seattle, Washington and it was attended by heads of states in the region including:[7]

  • Bill Clinton-President U.S.A.
  • Jiang Zemin, President People's Republic of China
  • Paul Keating, Prime Minister Australia
  • Hassanal Bokiah, Sultan of Brunei
  • Jean Chretien, Canadian Prime Minister
  • Fidel Ramos, President of the Philippines
  • Suharto- Indonesian President
  • Kim Young Sam, President South Korea
  • Morihiro Hosokawa, Japanese Prime Minister
  • James Bolger, New Zealand Prime Minister
  • Goh Chok Tong, Singapore Prime Minister
  • Chuan Likpahl, Thailand Prime Minister

ELM was the first highest level meeting since APEC's inception and it became an important activity of the organization. Since 1993, it is held during the later months of every year.[8]

Member Economies

Currently, APEC has 21 member economies, which include:

  • Australia - 1989
  • Brunei Darussalam - 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
  • People's Republic of China- 1991
  • Hong Kong, China- 1991
  • Chinese- 1991
  • Mexico- 1993
  • Papua New Guinea- 1993
  • Chile- 1994
  • Peru- 1998
  • Russia- 1998
  • Vietnam- 1998