Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Pact (APEC)

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Pact (APEC) is an economic treaty and cooperation between 21 countries in Asia, North America, South America and Oceania. The stated aim of APEC is to facilitate trade, investment and economic development among its member countries.

APEC was founded in 1989 with 12 founding members: The United States; Australia; Canada; Japan; Korea; Indonesia; Malaysia; New Zealand; Singapore; the Philippines; Thailand; and Brunei Darussalam. It was adopted by China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1991, by Papua New Guinea and Mexico in 1993, by Chile in 1994, and by Russia, Peru and Vietnam in 1998.

Unlike the European Union (EU), APEC is not a customs union. Member countries are free to maintain tariffs and levy customs duties on imports from other member countries.

APEC’s administrative headquarters are located in Singapore.

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