The APEC forum is a conglomerate of 21 countries that works towards promoting trade and economic growth while ironing out the barriers and differences that hinder in carrying out free trade across the borders.
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC’s 21 member economies are home to more than 2.6 billion people, approximately 60% of the world’s population, and account for approximately 56% of global GDP. The purpose of APEC is to achieve sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. This is accomplished through promoting free and open trade and investment, encouraging business facilitation, and supporting economic and technical cooperation. In recent years, APEC has also taken on a role in addressing regional challenges such as terrorism, energy security, avian influenza, and climate change.
Principal Purpose of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation:
The prime motive of Apparel Promotion Export Council is to enable the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labour force to move across borders hands down, without any trouble. This would mean improving the customs efficiency at the boundaries, fostering business relations within member economies, effectuating regulations, and making feasible policies across the Asia-Pacific region.
Member Nations of APEC:
The member nations of the APEC include Australia, Brunei, 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; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States of America; Vietnam.
APEC’s main motive being trade and commerce refers to its members as economies rather than as member states. Most often, the APEC concentrates on promoting trade relations between the member states rather than dealing with domestic issues of diplomacy between the regions.
The ideals of APEC are fostered by ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
Operative Process of APEC:
APEC works as a collaborative economic and trading forum promoting commerce and business across borders. The member economies demonstrate open dialogues with each other and offer due respect to the views shared. Every member economy belonging to APEC has an equal say in strategizing and policymaking. Consequently, the decisions are taken after the member economies reach a mutual consensus pertaining to the subject matter of discussion. Yet, it has to be borne in mind that the members do not have a binding obligation to the decisions thus arrived at.
The working process of APEC is quite attention-grabbing as it follows both a “bottom-up” and a “top-down” approach simultaneously. The leaders constantly revise their yearly goals to be in line with the vision and the initiatives of the forum. The leaders are guided and advised by core committees and their respective working groups by providing strategic policy-making recommendations.
The working groups are then entrusted with various tasks pertaining to the APEC initiatives and are carried out through the APEC-funded projects. The member economies also volunteer to take individual and collective responsibility to accomplish the initiatives set out by the APEC forum, in their respective economies through the guidance of the APEC capacity-building projects.
The capacity-building projects in turn play an indispensable part in translating APEC’s goals to reality. The capacity-building projects literally build the capacity of the member economies by providing state-of-the-art training to enhance their technical know-how related to various aspects. The APEC activities also encompasses various Project Management Units that oversee the APEC-funded projects.
Goals of APEC:
- The key goal of the APEC is to establish free trade amongst the developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region
- To realise the growth and development of trade relations of the member states, thereby promoting the common good of people, and in turn contributing to the world economy
- Promoting economic interdependence by supporting the movement of goods, services and encouraging technology transfer, thereby enhancing positive gains across the Asia Pacific region and for the world at large
- To elevate and reinforce an open multilateral trading system in the Asia – Pacific region and to carry the same across other economies
- The APEC, in as early as 1995, took to the Osaka Action Agenda, which was modeled to ease business activities, relax restrictions on trade and investment and encourage economic and technological cooperation
- However, APEC’s protocol of establishing the goal based on consensus from member states hindered its efficiency in achieving the goals. While some of the decisions were consensual, it might be pertinent to note that the decisions taken are, however, not binding on the member states
In conclusion, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation is a significant intergovernmental organization that plays an important role in regional economic integration and cooperation. The organization has a wide membership base and helps to promote growth and Prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.