Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 as a dynamic forum to further enhance economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific Region. APEC works in the broad areas of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, economic and technical cooperation, to help APEC Member Economies grow and prosper. Currently, APEC has 21 Member Economies known as: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; The Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; The United States of America and Viet Nam.
The Macao SAR has been granted ‘Guest Economy’ status in several APEC Working Groups since 2001. As a Guest Economy in Working Groups, the Macao SAR is free to participate in meetings. The Chair may invite Macao SAR to respond to questions and discussions in meetings, but not take part in the decision-making process. Currently, the four Working Groups that Macao participates in are:
- Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI)
- Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG)
- Tourism Working Group (TWG)
- Transportation Working Group (TPTWG)
APEC's Objectives & Goals
APEC aims to help improve trade and economic performance and regional links for the prosperity of the people in the region. Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific Region, creating efficient domestic economies and increasing exports. Key to achieving APEC's vision is referred as the 'Bogor Goals' in 1994 of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies.
Henceforth, its underlying objectives are to sustain the economic growth of the region; to encourage the free flow of goods, services, capital and technology; to develop and strengthen the open multilateral trading system and to reduce trade barriers on trade and investment consistent with WTO principles.
APEC's Scope of Work
- Trade and Investment Liberalisation
- Business Facilitation
- Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH)
- Members are referred as “Member Economies”, not as countries
- Decisions are made based on consensus and by promoting dialogue and equal respect for views of all participants
- Members are not required to enter into legally binding obligations or signing of contracts to reducing trade barriers and increasing investment
Mechanism of APEC
APEC Economic Leaders’ Meetings are held once a year in the APEC host economy, in which declarations from these meetings set the policy goals for APEC. APEC Ministerial Meetings of foreign affairs and economic/trade ministers are held immediately prior to the Economic Leaders’ Meetings. Ministers consider the year’s activities, discuss important economic issues across the region and then provide recommendations for APEC Economic Leaders’ consideration. Working under direction from APEC Ministers, Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM) implement and build up agenda in respond to Ministers’ decisions. They also guide and coordinate activities of all levels of fora, which encompass Committees, Working Groups and Special Task Groups to carry out APEC’s work and projects in specific sectors.