The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) was
established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among
Asia-Pacific economies. Starting out as an informal dialogue group, APEC has now
become the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical
economic cooperation. Its goal is to advance Asia-Pacific economic dynamism and
sense of community.
APEC has 21 members - referred to as "Member
Economies" - which account for more than 2.5 billion people, a combined GDP of $
19 trillion US dollars and 47 percent of world trade.