When it comes to commerce and communication, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aims to bring together nations in the Pacific region. Like NATO and the EU, APEC was established in 1989 as a free-trade agreement.
With members from both rich and developing countries, the APEC aims to promote economic policies that benefit many countries.
APEC is like a rising tide that lifts all boats. People’s quality of living in member countries has increased, even if certain initiatives and agreements have not positively impacted every economy.
People in both developed and developing nations have benefited from APEC initiatives, which have improved the quality of life for everyone. As a result, the impact of APEC may be felt all over the globe.
APEC has 12 founding members who signed the organization’s charter when it was established in 1989. United States, Thailand, Singapore (including Malaysia), Philippines (including New Zealand and Malaysia), South Korea (including Indonesia), Canada (including Quebec), and Australia (including Brunei) make up this group.
Since then, several Pacific nations, including Vietnam, Taiwan, Russia, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, and Chile, have joined the alliance.
People commonly associate countries in South Asia with Pacific nations. While APEC includes four continents (North America, South America, Australia, and Asia), it represents this variety.
APEC members Peru, Chile, Mexico, the United States, and Canada, are all located on the Pacific Ocean’s west coast.
China and Russia have an eastern Pacific border with the islands of Australia and New Zealand. Economic cooperation among Pacific nations benefits all APEC members since they share a boundary with the Pacific Ocean.
Economic Systems of APEC Member States
To be considered an APEC member, a country must have an autonomous economy and be a sovereign state. This means that countries are defined by their economy, and APEC members are recognized as economies rather than countries or governments.
APEC member economies represent a wide range of economic systems. While Russia was formerly the Soviet Union’s most powerful communist country, it has since become a capitalist nation. Most APEC economies are based on a free-market economy that is not controlled by the state, unlike communism.
Free-market capitalism is the most common economic system in many countries. Even though Canada has a market economy, the government provides healthcare and other social services for its residents.
APEC’s purpose is not to promote one economic system over another but to improve trade and communication among the Pacific Rim nations.
To establish trade agreements and develop a collaboration that benefits everyone concerned, member economies must work together despite differences in economic ideas and market tactics.
Like China and the United States, many countries are considerably more powerful than Brunei and Indonesia.
This might make it difficult to achieve this aim. These more powerful economies have a greater influence on the workings of APEC and the trade agreements among its members, which is to their advantage.
APEC Meetings and Committees
Multiple committees, councils, and working groups exist within APEC to counterbalance the negative consequences of more powerful economies dominating the organization.
Fishing, tourism, economic developments, transportation, and climate change are among the topics studied by these sub-organizations. To resolve these difficulties, they often meet to discuss them.
Members of the APEC trade bloc assemble in various locations across the world. To mention just a few of the locations where meetings have taken place: Seoul, Sydney; Busan (South Korea); Vancouver (Canada); and Shanghai (China). Having meetings in multiple locations ensures that all member economies are represented.
One of the adverse effects is that APEC meetings may be disrupted by local issues, leading to instability within the organization. For example, the 2019 APEC annual meeting in Chile was canceled due to social unrest over increasing living costs and police brutality.
Also See: APAC Countries | Asia-Pacific Countries 2022
The use of pepper spray by the Royal Mounted Police on protesters during the 1997 APEC summit in Vancouver sparked outrage.
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