Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC; /pɛk/ AY-pek[1]) is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.[2] Following the success of ASEAN's series of post-ministerial conferences launched in the mid-1980s,[3] APEC started in 1989,[4] in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; it aimed to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe.[5] Headquartered in Singapore,[6] APEC is recognized as one of the highest-level multilateral blocs and oldest forums in the Asia-Pacific region,[7] and exerts a significant global influence.[8][9][10][11]

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
 
Member economies of APEC
HeadquartersQueenstown, Singapore
TypeEconomic meeting
Membership21 economies
Leaders
 Chairperson
Jacinda Ardern (2021)
 Executive Director
Rebecca Fatima Santa Maria
Establishment1989

The heads of government of all APEC members except Taiwan (which is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Chinese Taipei as economic leader)[12] attend an annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country. APEC has three official observers: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.[13] APEC's Host Economy of the Year is considered to be invited in the first place for geographical representation to attend G20 meetings following G20 guidelines.[14][15]