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APEC is established Nov 1989

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is an inter-governmental grouping, was established in November 1989 to facilitate trade and economic cooperation within the Asia-Pacific community.[1] Singapore is one of the 12 founding members of APEC.[2] The number of members has since increased to 21 as at 2013.[3] APEC operates on the basis of non-binding commitments and open dialogue. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.[4]  Key to achieving APEC’s vision are the Bogor Goals, which were adopted by the leaders at their 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia. The goals outlined the targets of achieving free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010 for industrialised economies and by 2020 for the remaining developing economies.[5]

Since 1994, APEC had been under pressure to implement its Bogor Goals, particularly within the context of the competing presence of other regional and international forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), which also champion prosperity of the region through trade.[6] In light of this, the leaders who attended the 18th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting held in 2010 in Yokohama, Japan, issued an invigorated vision entitled The Yokohama Vision –­ Bogor and Beyond, which aimed to pursue with more intensity the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). For the first time in APEC’s 21-year history, the leaders drew up the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy that included an action plan to achieve its goals.[7]

The APEC Secretariat is based in Singapore. Headed by an executive director, the secretariat is staffed by a team of programme directors who are seconded from APEC member economies.[8]

1. Growing interest in Asia-Pacific is good: BG Lee. (1989, December 3). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Aurora, R. & Merriam, A. (2012, April). Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation: Background guide 2012 (pp. 9–11). Retrieved August 29, 2013, from National Model United Nations website: http://www.nmun.org/ny_archives/ny12_downloads/igos/APEC.pdf ; Hirano, A. (1996, March). Legal aspects of the institutionalization. IDE-APEC Study Center Working Paper Series 95/96 - No. 6 (p. 4). Retrieved August 29, 2013, from IDE-JETRO APEC Study Center Series FY 1995/1996 website: http://www.ide.go.jp/English/Publish/Download/Apec/pdf/1995_05.pdf
2. Dobson, W., & Lee Tsao, Y. (1994, March). APEC: Co-operation amidst diversity. ASEAN Economic Bulletin, 10(3), 231–244. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from JSTOR.
3. APEC Secretariat. (c2013). Member Economies. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from: http://www.apec.org/about-us/about-apec/member-economies.aspx
4. Chiang, Johnny C. (2009, May). 20 years of APEC: Making compromises and building consensus. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from Taiwan Institute of Economic Research website: http://english.tier.org.tw/eng_analysis/FS200905.asp
5. Aggarwal, V., & Volberding, P. (2010, September/October). Beyond Bogor: Reflections on APEC’s future (cover story). Japan Spotlight, 29(5), 10. Retrieved August 29, 2013, from http://basc.berkeley.edu/pdf/Reflections%20on%20APECs%20Future.pdf
6. Aggarwal & Volberding, 2010, p, 10.
7. APEC leaders’ meeting: The Bogor Goals and beyond. (2010, December). Highlighting Japan, 20–22. Retrieved August 29, 2013 from Cabinet Office, Government of Japan website: http://www.gov-online.go.jp/pdf/hlj/20101201/20-25.pdf
8. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. (2013). APEC Secretariat. Retrieved August, 29, 2013 from APEC website: http://www.apec.org/About-Us/APEC-Secretariat.aspx


The information in this article is valid as at 2013 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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