SINGAPORE, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Since its founding in 1989, the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has seen its gross domestic product and trade grow substantially. The followingare key facts and figures in the regard:
APEC's total trade has grown 395 percent, significantly outpacing the rest of the world. In the same period, GDP (in purchasing power parity terms) in the APEC region has tripled, while GDP in the rest of the world has less than doubled.
When the APEC was established in 1989, average trade barriers in the region stood at 16.9 percent; by 2004 barriers had been reduced by approximately 70 percent to 5.5 percent.
As a consequence, intra-APEC merchandise trade (exports and imports) has grown from 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars in 1989 to 8.44 trillion U.S. dollars in 2007 - an average increase of 8.5 percentper year; and merchandise trade within the region accounted for 67percent of APEC's total merchandise trade in 2007.
Similarly, trade with the rest of the world increased from 3 trillion U.S. dollars in 1989 to 15 trillion U.S. dollars in 2007,an average increase of 8.3 percent per year. Trade in the rest of the world increased at 7.6 percent over the same period.
Over 30 bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have been concluded between APEC member economies.
The APEC is also pursuing trade and investment liberalization through its Regional Economic Integration agenda.
APEC's 21 member economies are home to more than 2.7 billion people and represent approximately 54 percent of world GDP and 44 percent of world trade.
Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: Xinhua