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APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) is an association of 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region which works together to achieve economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment.[1]

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.

Member States

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:


  1. http://www.apec.org/content/apec/about_apec.html