- APEC can also stand for Atlantic Provinces Economic Council
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a group of Pacific Rim countries who meet with the purpose of improving economic and political ties. The first meeting was held in Canberra, Australia in 1989. It holds annual meetings in each of the member countries and has standing committees on a wide range of issues, from communications to fisheries.
Each year, the heads of government of each of the member states (except for Chinese Taipei whose leader is banned under PRC pressure and must send a non-governmental envoy) meet in a summit rotating in location among the member states. The first APEC Leaders' Meeting occurred in 1993 when U.S. President Bill Clinton, seeing it as a crucial vehicle to bring the derailed Uruguay Round of trade talks back on track, invited member economies' leaders to Blake Island, Washington . At Blake Island, Leaders called for continued reduction of trade and investment barriers, envisioning an "Asia-Pacific community" that promotes prosperity through cooperation.
APEC's stated "Bogor Goals" adopted in 1994 at the Bogor summit are aimed at free and open trade and investments by cutting tariffs between zero to five percent in the Asia-Pacific area for industrialised economies by 2010 and for developing economies by 2020.
In 1995, APEC established a business advisory body, called the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which consists of three business executives from each member economy.
In 1997 the APEC summit was in Vancouver, British Columbia. Great controversy arose when RCMP officers used pepper spray against protesters protesting against the presence of dictators such as Indonesia's president Suharto.
In the 2001 summit in Shanghai, APEC's push for a new trade Round and support for a program of trade capacity-building assistance led to the successful launch of the Doha Development Agenda a few weeks later. Leaders also endorsed the U.S.-proposed 'Shanghai Accord' which emphasizes implementation of APEC's commitments to open markets, structural reform, and capacity building. As part of the Accord, Leaders committed to develop and implement APEC transparency standards, reduce trade transaction costs in the Asia-Pacific region by 5 percent over 5 years, and pursue trade liberalization policies relating to information technology goods and services.
In 2003, Jemaah Islamiah head Riduan Isamuddin, a.k.a. Hambali, was planning an attack against the October 2003 APEC summit in Bangkok. He was captured in the city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, near Bangkok by Thai Police on August 11, 2003, before he could finish planning his attack on the APEC summit.
In 2004, Chile became the first South American nation to host the summit. The agenda of the APEC 2004 year was focused in terrorism and commerce, small and medium enterprises development and complementation of Free Trade Agreements and Regional Trade Agreements.
APEC's 21 members by date of membership are:
2003 APEC summit, Bangkok, Thailand
Last updated: 08-24-2005 03:37:21