Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was established in 1989 and has become the pre-eminent economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region. Its primary purpose is to promote sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Every year, one of APEC’s 21 member economies serves as the APEC host. Vietnam served as the APEC host economy in 2017, and Papua New Guinea will host in 2018.
APEC aims to strengthen regional economic integration by removing impediments to trade and investment “at the border”, enhancing supply chain connectivity "across the border" and improving the business environment "behind the border." It endeavors to improve the operating environment for business by reducing the cost of cross-border trade, improving access to trade information and simplifying regulatory and administrative processes. APEC also helps member economies build the institutional capacity to implement and take advantage of the benefits of trade and investment reform. APEC supports the multilateral trade negotiations underway in the World Trade Organization and complements the goals of the G20.
APEC operates on the basis of non-binding commitments and open dialogue. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus, and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis. The APEC Secretariat is based in Singapore. It provides coordination and technical and advisory support as well as information management, communications and public outreach services.
Canada and APEC
Canada is a founding member of APEC and served as APEC host in 1997, culminating in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. APEC provides Canada with an opportunity to further strengthen trade and economic ties with some of the Asia-Pacific region’s most dynamic economies. APEC also serves as a platform to share best practices with key partners on trade, economic integration and structural reform. APEC's 21 member economies account for more than 60 percent of global GDP and they are home to 39 percent of the world’s population. In 2016, APEC partners accounted for more than 84 percent of Canada's total merchandise trade. Foreign direct investment from APEC economies in Canada was $468 billion in 2016. Four of Canada’s top five trading partners are APEC members (U.S., China, Mexico and Japan).
Canada helps to advance APEC's core work streams of regional economic integration and trade liberalization through its involvement across more than 30 APEC forums including committees, working groups and sub-forums. More than 20 Government of Canada partner departments are engaged in APEC’s broad agenda, which ranges from customs procedures and regulatory reform to women’s economic empowerment, mental health and health industry ethics. In this regard, APEC serves a valuable role as an incubator of ideas and provides Canada with an opportunity to shape the Asia-Pacific region’s trade priorities. Global Affairs Canada coordinates Canada’s engagement at APEC.
Private Sector Engagement
Private-sector engagement is central to APEC's success. The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), established in 1995, represents the interests of business in APEC. ABAC is composed of up to three members from each of the 21 member economies, with business representatives appointed by APEC leaders. Collectively, they prepare an annual report with recommendations on how to improve the business and investment environment within the Asia-Pacific region.
Canada’s representation on the ABAC helps advance Canadian business interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Canada’s ABAC representatives are Suzanne Benoît, President of Aéro Montréal, and Ralph Lutes, Vice President of Teck Resources. The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada acts as ABAC’s Secretariat in Canada. The annual APEC CEO Summit and regular APEC industry dialogues also provide opportunities for regional business leaders to interact with APEC leaders, global and regional institutions, and business leaders from across the Asia-Pacific for discussions on key issues facing the region.
- Date Modified: