CBC News Online | November 19, 2004
The forum for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a group
of countries of the Pacific Rim that meet regularly to negotiate
economic and political ties.
The organization first got met in Canberra, Australia, in
1989 as an informal dialogue group. Every year, APEC has a
summit in one of its member countries.
The 21-member organization has become the major forum for
talking about improving economic growth, cooperation, trade
and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC's goals are free and open trade among the group's developed
nations by 2010 and by 2020 for developing countries.
In 1995, the organization developed its three pillars to achieve
- trade and investment liberalization
- business facilitation
- economic and technical cooperation
APEC's member nations account for 47 per cent
of total world trade and more than half the world's total
Gross Domestic Product.
APEC meetings have been popular among protesters. The organization
has been accused of being a "rich man's club."
In 1997, the APEC summit was held in Vancouver. The meeting
provoked countrywide controversy when RCMP officers used pepper
spray against protesters.
A brief history of APEC meetings:
1989 - Canberra, Australia Inaugural APEC meeting with
12 members countries.
1993 - Blake Island, United States APEC's economic
leaders meet and define APEC's mandate, "stability, security
and prosperity for our peoples."
1994 - Bogor, Indonesia APEC sets the Bogor goals of,
"free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by
2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing economies."
1995 - Osaka, Japan APEC adopts the Osaka Action Agenda
(OAA). The OAA established the three pillars of APEC activity:
liberalization of trade and investment, business facilitation,
and economic and technical co-operation.
1996 - Manila, The Philippines The first APEC and country-specific
action plans are compiled for meeting the Bogor goals.
1997 - Vancouver, Canada APEC ratifies a proposal for
Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization (EVSL) in 15 areas.
It also decides that action plans for individual countries
should be re-evaluated annually.
1998 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia APEC agrees on the first
nine sectors for EVSL and seeks an agreement with non-APEC
members at the World Trade Organization.
1999 - Auckland, New Zealand APEC commits to paperless
trading by 2005 in developed economies and 2010 in developing
2000 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam APEC
commits to the Action Plan for the New Economy, which aims
to triple Internet access throughout APEC region by 2005.
2001 - Shanghai, China APEC adopts the Shanghai Accord,
which focuses on broadening the APEC vision and clarifying
the roadmap to Bogor. APEC's first counter-terrorism statement
2002 - Los Cabos, Mexico APEC adopts action plans on
trade facilitation, policies on trade within the digital economy
and policies on transparency standards. APEC's second counter-terrorism
statement is delivered.
2003 - Bangkok, Thailand APEC leaders promised to push
ahead with freer trade, intensify the fight on terror and
clamp down on health threats. The group also pledged to support
negotiations to strip North Korea of nuclear weapons.
2004 - Santiago, Chile U.S. President George Bush seeks
more international support to persuade North Korea to abandon
its nuclear weapons program. Three rounds of talks have yielded
little success. In September 2004, North Korea refused to
attend a fourth round. Pushing for a conclusion to the the
World Trade Organization's current round of talks is also
a priority. The global trade treaty aims to slash agricultural
subsidies and lower tariff barriers in a bid to boost the
Source: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation