Backgrounder: APEC

2009-11-10 11:52 BJT

SINGAPORE, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week meetings are to open in Singapore Sunday with the start of the two-day Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting.

This year's APEC series meetings also include the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting on Nov. 9-12, annual Ministerial Meeting on Nov. 11-12, a CEO Summit on Nov. 13-14 and the 17th Economic Leaders' Meeting on Nov. 14-15.

Initiated in 1989 to respond to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies, the APEC has evolved for the past 20years to become a major forum and a primary vehicle to promote free trade and cooperation among members in the fields of economy, trade, investment and technology.

The APEC is the only inter-governmental organization in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants.

The three pillars of the APEC are identified as trade and investment liberalization; business facilitation; and economic and technical cooperation.

Key to achieving APEC's vision are the "Bogor Goals," which specify the APEC objectives for free and open trade and investment among industrialized members by 2010, and among developing members by 2020.

The APEC has represented the most economically dynamic region in the world, with its member economies accounting for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, about 54.2 percent of the world's GDP and 43.7 percent of the world trade.

The APEC currently has 21 member economies: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China' Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. The chairmanship rotates among members, with Singapore holding the chair this year.

The theme of this year's APEC Singapore meetings is "Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region".

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: Xinhua