Ambassador Kirk will travel to Singapore next week, July 21-22, to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum's (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting. While in Singapore, Ambassador Kirk will hold numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings with fellow APEC Ministers to discuss ways of advancing APEC's initiatives and agenda. He will be joined by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis.
This year marks the 21th annual meeting of APEC member economies coming together for an open discussion on trade and investment.
This year's theme is "Sustaining Growth, Connecting the Region." Members at the week-long meeting will focus on support economic growth, address the global economic crisis, support the multilateral trading system, accelerate regional economic integration, and strengthen APEC.
APEC is comprised of 21 countries, most of which have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean. These countries - 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, United States and Viet Nam - account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of the world gross domestic product (GDP), and 44 percent of world trade.
The United States had a $2 trillion in total (two way) goods trade with APEC countries during 2008. Goods exports totaled $753 billion; goods imports totaled $1.3 trillion.