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How Do You Become a Member of APEC?

The APEC forum has been quite uptight and stringent with respect to admitting new member economies to the group. However, it lays down a few prerequisites for a member economy to be inducted into the forum. By demonstrating due compliance, the member economy can gain membership with APEC.


The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is a group of 21 Asia Pacific economies that houses around 2.9 billion people, which accounts for over half of global GDP. The apparel promotion export council was formed to encourage and help the regional economy prosper by liberalising trade and investment across the borders. The forum promotes various activities such as:

  •   Reducing costs thereby assisting businesses across the Asia-Pacific region
  •   Rendering economic and technical co-operation
  •   Practices technology transfer and exchanges best practices between the members with respect to trade and investment
  •   Streamlines the administrative and regulatory processes related to trading practices.

The APEC’s working principles are motivated towards achieving the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 which aims to accomplish an open and resilient Asia-Pacific community with respect to trade, investment, and digitalisation.

Membership Criteria of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation:

APEC being an open economic forum has always stayed low-key with respect to the addition of new members. However, ever since its inception in 1989, the forum has altered its ideas regarding the addition of new members and thus has:

Member of APEC

  •   Elevated its original members of 12 by 50% to 18
  •   Pledged to intake a minimal number of new members before 1999
  •   Welcomed non-members by providing them a guest status to be a part of APEC working groups
  •   Sanctioned over 30 applications of non-members who had applied for availing the guest status.

Further, the APEC forum has always been available and reachable to members and non-members with respect to its information policies. The APEC duly releases all the essential documents, decisions, and statements for the perusal of the members and non-members.

Although the APEC purposefully doesn’t hold a tight compartment for evading the admission of new members, the forum has always been keen on keeping the numbers low for two reasons. Firstly, the reason is due to the regional character exhibited by the Asia-Pacific region, and secondly, keeping the numbers down would make the group more effective and easily manageable.

Having the considerations stated above as the prime principles, the APEC has listed out the eligibilities a member state should possess in order to get inducted within the forum as shown below:

  1. An applicant economy should mandatorily be located with the Asa-Pacific zone
  2. An applicant economy who is intending to become a member must maintain extensive economic ties with the existing members of the renewal Apparel PEC registration. More importantly, the estimated value of the applicant’s trade with the members of APEC must be relatively high while considering its international trade prospects in percentage
  3. An applicant economy should be practicing open and value-driven economic market policies
  4. An applicant economy should approve and embrace the pivotal objectives and principles outlined in the declarations of APEC, more particularly those related to Economic Leaders’ meetings
  5. Once a member economy’s application is accepted, the successful applicant will be mandated to present an Individual Action Plan (IAP) for the purposes of implementation and Collaboration of Collective Action plans executed by the APEC work program from the time the member has been inducted in
  6. Most importantly, the acceptance of new members into an undivided consensus of the existing members.

India and APEC:

India, currently is holding ‘observer’ status and is not inducted as a member economy in APEC. The most ostensible and obvious reason is that India is not within the borders of the Asia Pacific region. As APEC aims to promote free trading between the Asia Pacific countries, India doesn’t seem to perfectly fit within its policies.

Yet, a majority of the members have shown interest in including India within APEC as the nation has shown remarkable progress in reforming and liberalising its economy. Doing so would also act as a catalyst for other emerging nations to revise their economic policies. Additionally, it has been opined by a few existing member economies that India’s maritime potency and its impeccable strategic relationship with major powers, could bring an exceptional balance to the group. Surprisingly, the same reason has made few members turn their faces against India. Whether APEC would nod a vehement yes or no to India, is something that the country has to wait and see!


How many countries are members of APEC?

21 countries are members of APEC.

Is India a member of APEC?

No, India is not a member of APEC.

Why is India not a member of APEC?

India is not a member of APEC because it is not a Pacific Rim country. APEC membership is limited to countries that are located on the Pacific Rim, or that have significant economic ties to the Pacific region.

When was APEC founded?

APEC was founded in 1989.

Who are the 21 members of the APEC?

The 21 members of APEC are:
● Australia
● Brunei Darussalam
● Canada
● Chile
● China
● Hong Kong, China
● Indonesia
● Japan
● Korea, Republic of
● Malaysia
● Mexico
● New Zealand
● Papua New Guinea
● Peru
● Philippines
● Russia
● Singapore
● Chinese Taipei
● Thailand
● United States
● Vietnam

What are the three pillars of APEC?

The three pillars of APEC are:
● Trade and investment liberalization
● Business facilitation
● Economic and technical cooperation

Who is hosting APEC in 2024?

Peru will host APEC in 2024.

Who is hosting the APEC 2023?

The United States is hosting APEC in 2023.

Who is the founder of APEC?

APEC was founded by Australia, Japan, and the United States.

Why is APEC important for India?

APEC is important for India because it is a forum where India can engage with other countries in the Pacific region on trade, investment, and economic cooperation. APEC membership could help India to boost its economic growth and development.

How can I get an APEC card in India?

You cannot get an APEC card in India because India is not a member of APEC.

Who is hosting APEC in 2025?

Thailand is hosting APEC in 2025.

Where is the headquarters of the APEC situated?

The headquarters of APEC is situated in Singapore.

How many countries are in APAC?

There are 53 countries in APAC, including India.

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