Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum. Our primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
We are united in our drive to build a dynamic and harmonious Asia-Pacific community by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, enhancing human security, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment. Our initiatives turn policy goals into concrete results and agreements into tangible benefits.
The idea of APEC was firstly publicly broached by former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr Bob Hawke, during a speech in Seoul, Korea in January 1989. Later that year, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia to establish APEC. The founding members were: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
China, Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991. Mexico and Papua New Guinea followed in 1993. Chile acceded in 1994. And in 1998, Peru, Russia and Viet Nam joined, taking the full membership to 21.
Between 1989 and 1992, APEC met as an informal senior official and Ministerial level dialogue. In 1993, former United States President, Mr Bill Clinton, established the practice of an annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
A moratorium on new membership stands until the end of 2010, at which point APEC member economies will consider whether or not to lift the moratorium.
Member Economies of APEC
APEC has 21 members. The word ‘economies’ is used to describe APEC members because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities.
In alphabetical order
People’s Republic of China
Hong Kong, China
Republic of Korea
Papua New Guinea
The United States