For months political and economic news about Peru are full of the APEC Peru 2016. But what exactly is the APEC? What does it do? And how does it affect us? We from Peru Telegraph introduce you to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and explain the most important facts.
What is APEC?
APEC is short for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. It’s a regional economic forum established in 1989 to make use of the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific region to the benefit of all members. Very generally speaking the main goals of APEC are growth and prosperity by free trade for the member economies in a globalized world.
The APEC has currently 21 members, most of them bordering the Pacific Ocean. The members are referred to as member economies, because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities not as states. The member economies include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
What does APEC do?
According to the APEC website, the “21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration”; in short: promoting free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Over the past decades APEC brought the member economies in the Asia-Pacific region closer together. Favorable business climates were established, trade barriers reduced, standards and regulations aligned and differences in customs procedures harmonized. These measures ensure that goods, services, investment and people can move across borders easier, cheaper and faster which boosts commerce and therefore increases prosperity in the region.
APEC has grown to become an economic growth engine and is one of the most important regional forums in the Asia-Pacific. Its 21 member economies are home to around 2.8 billion people and represent approx. 59 % of world’s GDP and 49 % of world trade in 2015.
Each year representatives of all member economies, mainly from the foreign affairs and trade / business area, come together at numerous APEC meetings not only to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community in general but also to discuss pending topics relating to the main goals of APEC such as facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Highlight of the annual APEC Summit is the Economic Leader’s Meeting which is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members. The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies. The APEC 2016 Summit is held in Peru, making the country the host of this important conference for the second time after 2008.
APEC Peru 2016
The around 180 meetings of APEC 2016 will be set in different cities across the country, most of them in Lima, but some as well in Arequipa, Iquitos, Tacna, Tarapoto and Trujillo. The organizers expect up to 15,000 guests and representatives from the 21 member economies.
The general theme of this year’s annual APEC Summit is “Quality Growth and Human Development”. As host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum 2016 Peru selected four priority areas:
- Investing in Human Capital Development through better education enabling Peru’s economy to become less dependent on natural resources, but rather more sophisticated, more service and information oriented and better skilled in new technologies.
- Modernization of micro, small and medium-size enterprises in the Asia-Pacific (MSMEs); with the support and the application of new technologies and innovation the MSMEs should be better integrated into the regional market allowing them to become more competitive and productive.
- Fostering of the regional food market by ensuring the provision and quality of food and addressing potential barriers to trade in food products. Due to its impact on employment, social and rural development, Peru further promotes and raises awareness of the countries agro-industrial exports growth potential.
- Advancing in the regional economic integration and growth agenda by taking concrete steps towards a full liberalization of APEC economies to trade and investment.
The APEC Economic Leader's Meeting is scheduled this year on the 20th of November in Lima, preceded by the APEC SME Summit, the APEC CEO Summit, the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the ABAC Dialogue with Leaders from November 17th to 19th.
APEC Peru 2016 Logo
The logo of the APEC Peru 2016 is inspired by the sun, a symbol of life, growth, union and peace. For thousands of years the sun is an important part Peru’s history and is reflected in the countries rich and diverse architecture, ceramics, textiles, silver and goldsmithery as well as native religion. The shape was already used for example in Caral, the ancient city north of Lima, and Moray, an archaeological site northwest of Cusco containing circular agricultural terraces, and stands for the effort and talent of Peru’s ancestors. Using available technologies and knowledge, but at the same time living in harmony with nature, they achieved a high living standard for the time by working together and using natural resources sustainably. These virtues are as well part of the principles of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.