APEC operates on the basis of non-binding commitments. Unlike other multilateral trade bodies, APEC has no treaty obligations required of its participants. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.
Purpose and Goals
APEC was established in 1989 with the aims of enhancing economic growth and prosperity for the region and strengthening the Asia-Pacific community.
Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating more efficient domestic economies and increasing exports. In 1994 the APEC leaders agreed the 'Bogor Goals' of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies.
The 2007 APEC meeting in Sydney signed a Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development. The declaration specifies wide-ranging and ambitious actions the APEC member economies will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will be the first time that both the US and China agree to long-term aspirational goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The next APEC meeting will take place in 2008 in Peru.
APEC's 21 members account for approximately 41% of the world's population, approximately 56% of world GDP and about 49% of world trade. These members are:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- United States of America