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APEC—Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC aims to sustain growth, development, and improved living standards in the Asia-Pacific region and the world and to promote free trade. APEC provides a forum for high-level discussion on a broad range of issues related to these goals, including improving education systems.

Organization. APEC initially operated as an informal grouping of economies. In 1993, relations were formalized. A secretariat was established in Singapore, and member economies began contributing to a small central fund. APEC has several working groups in areas like telecommunications and environmental conservation. Education and training issues are worked on as part of APEC's Human Resource Development Working Group.

APEC is the only inter-governmental grouping that operates on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue, and equal respect for the views of all participants. Unlike the WTO or other multilateral trade bodies, APEC requires no treaty obligations of its participants. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus, and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.

Membership. APEC's members, referred to as “economies,” collectively account for more than a third of the world's population (2.6 billion people), approximately 60 percent of world GDP (US$19, 254 billion), and about 47 percent of world trade. APEC also proudly represents the most economically dynamic region in the world having generated nearly 70 percent of global economic growth in its first 10 years.

APEC's 21 member economies are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Republic of the Philippines, The Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States of America, and Viet Nam.

APEC and Education. First brought together under 41st President George Bush, Education Ministers from 14 member economies agreed in 1992 to coordinate joint activities in the field of education through an APEC Education Forum. Representatives of ministries of education and other educational organizations from member economies participate in the Forum, now known as the Education Network (EDNET).

ED Contact:     Adriana de Kanter
adriana.dekanter@ed.gov

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Last Modified: 06/29/2011