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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation


Recently, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit 2023 took place in San Francisco, United States.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. APEC Leaders’ Summit 2023 Highlights
  2. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
  3. India and APEC

APEC Leaders’ Summit 2023 Highlights

  • Theme: “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”
    • Emphasis on resilience and sustainability in the APEC 2023 summit.
  • Commitment to Free, Fair, and Open Trade
    • APEC leaders reiterated their dedication to promoting free, fair, and open trade and investment.
  • Focus on Inclusive and Sustainable Growth
    • A commitment to advancing inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region.
  • Golden Gate Declaration
    • The summit concluded with the adoption of the Golden Gate Declaration.
    • A collective commitment to building a resilient and sustainable future for all APEC member economies.
  • APEC Action Agenda on Climate Change and Energy Security
    • Endorsement of a comprehensive action agenda addressing climate change and energy security.
    • Outlined specific actions and targets to enhance cooperation and coordination in tackling the climate crisis.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC):

Establishment and Purpose:
  • Formed in 1989 as a regional economic forum.
  • Aims to enhance prosperity in the Asia-Pacific by fostering balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative, and secure growth.
Permanent Secretariat:
  • Supported by a permanent secretariat headquartered in Singapore.
Member Countries:
  • Includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States.
  • India holds the ‘observer’ status.
  • Represents around 62% of world GDP and 48% of world trade as of 2021.
  • One of the oldest and most influential multilateral platforms in the Asia-Pacific region.
Operational Framework:
  • Operates without binding commitments or treaty obligations.
  • Commitments are voluntary, and capacity-building projects aid in the implementation of APEC initiatives.
Main Goals:
  • Support economic growth and prosperity.
  • Enhance regional economic integration.
  • Strengthen human security.
  • Address common challenges like climate change, health, and food security.

India and APEC:

  • Initiation of Interest (1991):
    • India expressed interest in joining APEC in 1991.
    • Coincided with India’s introduction of economic liberalization, signaling a more open trade approach.
  • Mixed Reception:
    • Some APEC members favored India’s inclusion due to potential economic opportunities.
    • Others opposed, citing perceived rules and restrictions hindering business with India.
  • Membership Freeze (1997):
    • APEC decided to halt the admission of new members in 1997.
    • The freeze aimed at enhancing cooperation among existing members.
  • Continued Exclusion:
    • The membership freeze, initially planned until 2012, remained unchanged.
    • India’s aspirations to join APEC were consequently thwarted during this period.

-Source: Indian Express

July 2024