Leaders poses for a group photo before attending the 21st Informal Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 8, 2013. Photo: Xinhua
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC, established in 1989, is an intergovernmental grouping that operates on the basis of non-binding 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.
APEC has 21 members - referred to as "member economies" - which account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, approximately 55 percent of world GDP and about 44 percent of world trade.
APEC's 21 Member Economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; The Republic of the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; US; Vietnam.