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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC is the premier Asia-Pacific economic forum. Primary goal of APEC is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC strives 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. APEC’s initiatives turn policy goals into concrete results and agreements into tangible benefits.

APEC has 21 members: 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 Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, The United States, Viet Nam. 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.

The Asia-Pacific region has consistently been the most economically dynamic region in the world. APEC member economies together account for: 40 percent of world population (2.7 billion people); 44 percent of global trade ($16.8 trillion) and 53 percent of world real GDP in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms ($35.8 trillion).

The region’s real GDP (PPP) has also doubled from $17.7 trillion in 1989 to $35.8 trillion in 2010. By comparison, real GDP (PPP) in the rest of the world has only grown at 3 percent per year, from $17.2 trillion to $31.9 trillion. This means that APEC’s share of world real GDP has increased from 51 percent in 1989 to 53 percent in 2010.

APEC's work under its three main pillars of activity, Trade and Investment Liberalisation, Business Facilitation and Economic and Technical Cooperation, has helped drive this economic growth and improve employment opportunities and standards of living for the citizens of the region.

APEC has also been able to evolve its agenda to include pressing regional priorities. Examples include: counter-terrorism (The Shanghai Statement in 2001, and the Counter-Terrorism Task Force); human security (Health Working Group); emergency preparedness (Emergency Preparedness Working Group); climate change, energy security and clean development (The Sydney Declaration in 2007 and the APEC List of Environmental Goods in 2012); and the global financial crisis (The Vladivostok Statement in 2012).

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.

Sustainable tourism is a key economic driver for the Asia-Pacific region, creating jobs and promoting investment and development.

To help promote growth in travel and tourism in the region, the Tourism Working Group (TWG) was formed in 1991. It brings tourism administrators together to share information, exchange views and develop areas of cooperation on tourism trade and policies.

The TWG's objective is to foster economic development in the Asia-Pacific region through sustainable tourism, recognizing that: tourism is one the region's fastest growing industries and is of significant importance to the economic development of APEC economies; tourism is important in fostering regional understanding and cooperation; the tourism industry in member economies is at different levels of development; and member economies share the common goal of quality development and services.

The APEC Tourism Charter, endorsed at the 1st Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Korea in 2000, constitutes the basis for APEC tourism cooperation. The Charter reflects a collective commitment to improve the economic, cultural, social and environmental well-being of APEC member economies through tourism. It establishes four key policy goals and an agreed process for realising these aims:

  • Removal of impediments to tourism business and investment
  • Increase mobility of visitors and demand for tourism goods and services
  • Sustainable management of tourism outcomes and impacts
  • Enhance recognition and understanding of tourism as a vehicle for economic and social development

Source of information: http://www.apec.org/

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