Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an economic forum consisting of 21 Asia-Pacific economies for discussing matters on regional economy, cooperation, trade, and investment. Ministers and Senior Officials from member economies meet on a continual basis throughout the year. APEC’s activities are coordinated by the APEC Secretariat located in Singapore.
APEC holds annually the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting attended by the heads of government of all APEC members. The location of the summit rotates annually among member economies.
The mission statement of APEC reads, “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.”
The key to achieving APEC's mission is what is commonly referred to as the Bogor Goals: achieving free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for developed economies and by 2020 for developing economies. These goals were agreed by APEC Economic Leaders in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994. To achieve these goals, APEC member economies developed a framework in Osaka, Japan in 1995, which sets out trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation as the three key areas of cooperation, or otherwise known as the “Three Pillars” of APEC.
Not limited to achieving the Bogor Goals, the scope and the depth of cooperation in APEC have expanded and deepened. In response to the emergence of the digital economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution, APEC member economies are striving to strengthen their capacity for digital technology and make the most of the opportunities created by this surge of change. Also, to unleash the potential of the long-excluded groups such as the youth, women, MSMEs, and people in rural and remote areas in achieving economic growth, APEC is promoting discussions and various initiatives on inclusive growth in the region.
Ever since Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke publicly presented the idea of APEC in his speech in Seoul in 1981, Korea has played a critical role in the various processes and discussions of APEC as it did in its launch. The adoption of the APEC Seoul Declaration in 1991 is considered as an important step for building the institutional foundation of APEC.
In 2005, the APEC Leaders’ Meeting was held in Busan, Korea. The focus of the meeting was the WTO Doha Round negotiations as the WTO Ministerial Conference was to take place in December that year in Hong Kong.
APEC is now striving to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth that lowers the barriers hindering all the people in the region from enjoying the benefits of economic growth and encourage them to participate in economic activities. Korea is committed to actively participating in this process by taking the lead in the discussions on timely issues such as the digital economy, connectivity, and inclusion.
URL : http://apec.org