Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier multilateral economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 and consists of 21 member economies. Singapore is one of the 12 founding member economies of APEC, and last held the APEC Chairmanship in 2009.
Singapore recognises that APEC is an important platform for promoting greater trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation and deepening regional economic integration in the Asia Pacific region, which in turn strengthen development and growth in and between member economies. According to a report published by the APEC Policy Support Unit, APEC economies accounted for an estimated 60 percent of global GDP and 47 percent of global trade in 2019. As a hub for trade and commerce in the region, Singapore supports the goal of free and open trade and investment which APEC has undertaken in its Bogor Declaration of 1994, and establishing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific as envisioned in the Ha Noi Declaration of 2006.
Singapore is also supportive of APEC’s wide-ranging non-trade agenda, covering areas such as human resource development, food security and health.
Malaysia holds the Chairmanship of APEC for 2020. Under the overarching theme of “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Future of Shared Prosperity”, Malaysia has outlined three priorities for its Chairmanship, namely (a) Improving the Narrative of Trade and Investment; (b) Inclusive Economic Participation through Digital Economy and Technology; and (c) Driving Innovative Sustainability. The next APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 11 to 12 November 2020.
More information on its work can be found on the official APEC website.