Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation – Definition

Cite this article as:"Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated February 2, 2020, last accessed October 25, 2020,


Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Definition

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), is a group of 21 big economies whose coalition was based on fostering economic growth and sustainable development among the member countries. APEC was established in 1989, it is an inter-governmental organization that comprises 21 countries. APEC fosters interdependence between the member countries and also promote free trade in the Asia-Pacific region. As a premier forum, APEC fosters economic cooperation, trade, and investment among the participating countries.

A Little More on What is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

As part of the functions of APEC, it fosters a sense of belonging among member countries which are Asia-Pacific countries. Since its establishment in 1989, there are some significant successes that can be attributed to APEC, they include;

  • Reduction or elimination of trade tariffs and high import tax between the member countries.
  • Enhancing the efficiency of customs cross-border.
  • Conquering terrorist groups
  • Stimulating economic integration and growth
  • Combating climate change
  • Bridging the economic gap that exists between developing and developed countries
  • Improving the quality of education and standards of living in developing Asian countries.

APEC’s Actions and Goals

Before the official launch of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), its action agenda and goals have already been formulated. Before the creation of APEC in 1989, various summits and discussion groups were held by Asia-Pacific countries where they agreed on establishing a free trade that will foster economic growth among participating countries.

In a 1995 summit meeting, APEC adopted the Osaka Action Agenda, whose objectives include trade liberalization, economic integration, promotion of trade and investment and enhancement of business and technical cooperation.

 Sub-Groups of APEC

APEC has a number of sub-groups that serve different purposes and create awareness on different agenda and objectives of APEC. The sub-groups of APEC are created based on the purpose they serve. APEC subgroups are;

  • Gender Issues: This sub-group of APEC continues advocacy for the participation of women in the Asia-Pacific economy. This is to achieve gender balance.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: This sub-group was established to ensure proper protection of intellectual property rights in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Emergency Preparedness: This sub-group ensures that counties in the Asia-Pacific region are prepared for the outbreak of natural disasters such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and others.

Reference for “Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)”…/Asia-Pacific-Economic-Cooperation-APEC.html…/asia-pacific-economic-cooperation-apec

Academics research on “Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)”

Asia Pacific Fusion: Japan’s Role in APEC, Funabashi, Y. (1995). Asia Pacific Fusion: Japan’s Role in APEC. Peterson Institute Press: All Books. Japanese journalist Yoichi Funabashi has written the first in-depth study of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum based on extensive interviews with heads of state and government officials in the region. A key force behind APEC, he argues, is a potential “fusion” of Asia-Pacific civilizations propelled by the region s dynamic economic integration. He recounts APEC s six-year history, assesses its potential, and examines the power politics of the region. Released just before the Osaka summit hosted by Japan in November 1995, this book looks closely at Japan’s interests in APEC and its relations with countries in the region. It provides an intellectual framework for the future evolution of APEC itself and for Japan’s role in that institution.

Economic regionalization in the Asia-Pacific, Dutta, M. (1999). Economic regionalization in the Asia-Pacific. Books. This original and comprehensive book provides a unique insight into the development of economic regionalization, with special reference to the Asia-Pacific. It presents international globalization strategies from a historical perspective and then analyses the effects on the development of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Focusing on APEC itself, the author provides a detailed investigation into its organization and agenda, and thorough personal interviews with some of the most influential people who have worked for APEC.

Sustaining the Asia Pacific Miracle: Environmental protection and economic integration, Esty, D. C., & Dua, A. (1997). Sustaining the Asia Pacific Miracle: Environmental protection and economic integration. Peterson Institute Press: All Books. Asia Pacific countries have experienced extraordinary economic growth in recent years. But the region also suffers from choking air pollution, fouled water, ravaged forests, depleted fisheries, and other environmental problems.Eager to promote further growth, governments in the region have embarked on an ambitious program of economic integration through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In this volume, Dua and Esty argue that APEC’s trade and investment liberalization can be compatible with environmental protection. They stress, moreover, that true prosperity and the APEC vision of a “community of Asia Pacific economies” cannot be achieved without attention to public health and ecological threats, resource management issues, and tensions at the economy-environment interface. The authors identify the issues that must be dealt with internationally and propose an ambitious environmental action agenda for APEC that would play an important role in that strategy.

Competing conceptions of economic regionalism: APEC versus EAEC in the Asia Pacific, Higgott, R., & Stubbs, R. (1995). Competing conceptions of economic regionalism: APEC versus EAEC in the Asia Pacific. Review of International Political Economy2(3), 516-535. Dramatic economic growth in the Asia Pacific has given rise to a both a scholarly and policy oriented debate about the most appropriate organizational form within which any dialogue over the nature economic policy coordination in the region might take place. The most visible exercise in regional economic dialogue over the last few years has been via the evolution of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). APEC’s increasing international profile does not, however, pass uncontested. Some states, and most vocally Malaysia, exhibit a preference for a more ‘Asian’ and less ‘Pacific’ form of regional economic dialogue via the putative East Asian Economic Caucus (EAEC). This paper examines APEC and the EAEC as exemplars of two competing conceptions of regional economic cooperation. The paper demonstrates that enhanced economic dialogue in the Asia Pacific cannot be understood simply in rationalistic, utility maximizing terms. Questions of politics, culture and identity are also shaping up to be extremely important. The outcome of this contest over how an understanding of ‘region’ in the Asia Pacific will be constituted over the long term is yet to be determined.

APEC: the challenges of Asia Pacific economic cooperation, Rudner, M. (1995). APEC: the challenges of Asia Pacific economic cooperation. Modern Asian Studies29(2), 403-437. International trade figures prominently in the economic growth strategies of East and Southeast Asian countries. Despite the economic recession experienced across much of the world since the early 1990s, the pace of economic growth was sustained virtually unabated in the countries of East and Southeast Asia.During the entire decade of the 1980s the East and Southeast Asian economies grew more than twice as rapidly as the rest of the world economy. Along with this growth performance, international trade in the East and Southeast Asian region increased at about twice the rate of Europe and North America. Merchandise exports in East and Southeast Asia increased at an annual average rate of 10% per annum between 1965 and 1989. In 1990 and 1991 aggregate merchandise exports from Asia’s Newly Industrializing Economies (South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong) grew by 9.0% and 11.4%, while the four ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) developing countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) recorded average increases of 12.9% and 14.3%, respectively.Expanding merchandise exports were accompanied by surging capital inflows and rising investment rates, culminating in accelerated growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with a significant reduction in the incidence of poverty.

Was this article helpful?