President Obama was very much looking forward to returning to his boyhood country of Indonesia for the 2013 APEC Summit. Due to the US government shut down he won’t attend.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim
countries (formally Member Economies) that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; to fears that highly industrialized Japan (a member of G8) would come to dominate economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region; and to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe (where demand had been declining). APEC works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. APEC includes newly industrialized economies, although the agenda of free trade was a sensitive issue for the developing NIEs at the time APEC founded, and aims to enable ASEAN economies to explore new export market opportunities for natural resources such as natural gas, as well as to seek regional economic integration (industrial integration) by means of foreign direct investment. Members account for approximately 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade. For APEC Economic Trends Analysis in 2012, see.
An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except the Republic of China (who is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Chinese Taipei as economic leader). The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and until 2011, a famous tradition involved the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host member.
APEC currently has 21 members, including most countries with a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. However, the criterion for membership is that the member is a separate economy, rather than a state. As a result, APEC uses the term member economies rather than member countries to refer to its members. One result of this criterion is that membership of the forum includes Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, participating under the name “Chinese Taipei”) alongside People’s Republic of China (see Cross-Strait relations), as well as Hong Kong, which entered APEC as a British colony but it is now a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. APEC also includes three official observers: ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.
Member economy (name as used in APEC) Date of accession
Australia November 1989
Brunei Darussalam November 1989
Canada November 1989
Indonesia November 1989
Japan November 1989
Republic of Korea November 1989
Malaysia November 1989
New Zealand November 1989
Philippines November 1989
Singapore November 1989
Thailand November 1989
United States November 1989
Chinese Taipei November 1991
Hong Kong, China November 1991
People’s Republic of China November 1991
Mexico November 1993
Papua New Guinea November 1993
Chile November 1994
Peru November 1998
Russia November 1998
Vietnam November 1998