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Executive summary

Asia-Pacific Economic co-operation (APEC) was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region. APEC is the premier forum for

facilitating economic growth, co-operation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC has 21 member countries, viz., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, HongKong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexoco, New Zealand, Paupa New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam. These 21 member countries account for 41% of the worlds population, about 55 percent of world GDP, and about 49 percent of world trade. it is also the most economically dynamic region in the world having generated about 70 percent of global economic growth in its first 10 years. APEC is the only inter governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of nonbinding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. Unlike the WTO or 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. India has requested membership in APEC and has received initial support from US, Japan and Australia. officials from the member countries are in the process of discussing whether to allow India to join. There is a concern among Western Countries that Indias entry might tilt the balance of power in favour of Asia.

In addition to India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Laos, Columbia and Ecuador are also seeking membership of APEC by 2008. This project gives an insight about the various issues and challenges faced by APEC. Goals of APEC APEC was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community. 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. the important goals of APEC are specified in the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investments in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economics and 2020 for developing economies. These goals were adopted by Leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia. According to Bogor goals, free and open trade and investment helps economies to grow, creates jobs and provides greater opportunities for international trade and investment. In contrast,

protectionism keeps prices high and fosters inefficiencies in certain industries. Free and open trade helps to lower the costs of production and thus reduces the prices of goods and services. APEC also tries to create an environment for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people across borders in the region through policy alignment and economic and technical co-operation. APEC leaders meeting in Bangkok, Thailand in 2003 has considered counter-terrorism as a complimentary mission to Bogor Goals. It has also agreed to strengthen efforts to build

knowledge-based economies and to promote sound and efficient financial systems and to accelerate regional structural reform.

Operation of APEC The APEC secretariat is based in Singapore and it operates as the core support mechanism for the APEC process. It provides co-ordination, technical and advisory support as well as information management, services. The APEC secretariat performs a central project management role, assisting APEC Member Economics and APEC for a with overseeing more than 230 APEC funded projects. APECs annual budget is also administered by the APEC secretariat. The APEC secretariat is headed by an executive Director and a Deputy Executive Director. These positions are filled by officers of Ambassadorial rank from the current and incoming host economics respectively. The positions rotate annually. The APEC secretariat is staffed by a small team of 22 Program Directors. In addition around d 27 permanent staff fulfill specialist and support functions at the APEC secretariat. Its headquarter is in Singapore. communications and public outreach

Achievement and Benefits Economic Growth: Since its inception in 1989, the APEC region has been the most economically dynamic part of the world. During its first decade, APEC member

countries generated about 70 percent of global economic growth. APEC member economies work together to sustain this economic growth through a commitment to open trade, investment and economic reform. By progressively reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade. APEC member economies have become more efficient and exports have expanded substantially.

A Highlight of APECs Achievement in the First Ten Years The Important achievements of APEC during the first 10 years are : (i) (ii) Exports increased by 113 percent to over US $ 2.5 trillion. Foreign direct investment grew by 210 percent overall, and by 475 percent in lower income APEC countries. (iii) Real gross national product grow by about a third overall, and by 74 percent in lower income APEC economies. (iv) Gross domestic product per person in lower income APEC economies grew by 61 percent. Benefits to the people in APEC Region : Consumers in Asia-Pacific have both directly and indirectly benefited from the collective and individual actions of APEC

member countries. Important direct benefits are increased job opportunities, more training programmes, stronger social safety nets and poverty alleviation. Broadly APEC member countries on average enjoy lower cost of living since reduced trade barriers and a more economically competitive region led to lowering of prices of goods and services that everyone needs daily. Improvements in Information and Telecommunications: In 1990, an average of only 0.6% of those living in APEC member countries were cellular subscribers and only 0.08 percent used internet. Within a space of 15 years those figures rose to 55 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Since 1990, APEC has been committed to facilitating development of an information infrastructure across Asia-Pacific. Benefits to Low Income APEC Countries: advancement. Economic growth leads to social

During the first decade of APECs existence the low income

APEC countries had the following benefits: (i) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index for lower income APEC countries improved by about 18 percent. (ii) Poverty in East Asian APEC countries has fallen by about a third (165 million people), mostly on account of strong economic growth. (iii) About 195 million new jobs have been created in APEC member countries, including 174 million in lower income countries. (iv) Infant mortality has fallen and life expectancy has improved in lower income APEC countries on account of significant improvement in access to sanitation and safe water, and expanding public expenditure on health.

(v)

There has been heavy investment in human capital with rising education enrolment ratios and growth expenditures on education.