June 4th, city of Pucon, Chile: Trade Ministers Meeting, APEC 2004. Theme: “One Community, Our Future”. One of the heavyweight events marking the logbook of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ever since its maiden voyage in November, 1989 from Canberra, Australia. Hereunder is a fact sheet assembling the ends and bits concerning this organization into a rough reminder justifying its very existence.
No. 1: What gave rise to APEC? Three key words to note: economic globalization, trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration. US, Japan, ASEAN and Australia enlisted for varying benefits and concerns. One plus, to provide impetus to the then stalled Uruguay Round of WTO negotiations.
No. 2: What sustained APEC's cohesive power: A. “Bogor Goals, namely, free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialised economies and 2020 for developing economies”. B. Its feature as the only inter governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. That APEC has no treaty obligation required of its members guarantees exactly the basis on which to hold them together.
二. 是什么使APEC保持了其凝聚力？1. “茂物目标，即发达经济体到2010年，发展中经济体到2020年，在亚太地区实现自由开放的贸易和投资。”2. APEC的特点在于，它是世界上唯一一个基于非约束性承诺，公开对话和平等尊重所有成员意见建立的政府间组织。对其成员不存在条约上的约束要求这一事实，恰恰保证了成员间的团结。
No. 3: Membership of APEC. With 21 Member Economies on board, no new entrant will be accepted until 2007, when APEC wraps up its 10-year consolidation process. Standing members include: 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 of America; Viet Nam.
No. 4: Work focus of APEC. Trade and investment liberalization and facilitation (TILF), and economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH), which are called the “two wheels” propelling the organization's march in its designated sphere of economic engagement and policy alignment. Count in business facilitation, “two wheels” in turn blossom into “three pillars”.
No. 5: Operational structure of APEC. With Economic Leaders' Meeting (ELM) as the top decision-making body, APEC has under it the Ministerial Meeting and Sectoral Ministerial Meetings. The first involves the participation of both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister Responsible for Trade, who jointly contribute to the decision-making mechanism. The latter includes the Trade Minister's Meeting as the one held in Chile recently and other Ministerial Meetings in different sectors on a selective basis. More specific work are assigned by the Ministers to the Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM), which, supported by APEC secretariat, steers the operation of four permanent committees and various task forces.
No.6: APEC as the “Bridge”. WTO membership and APEC membership overlap in most of its member economies. Meanwhile, around 40 regional trade agreements (RTAs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) have either taken root or entered the pipeline within the Asia Pacific. How best to guide the development of those RTAs and FTAs in such a way as to reinforce the multilateral trade system currently hinging on the fate of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA)? Housing economies involved in both, APEC is the natural intermediary for synergy. Besides, the organization is increasingly positioning itself as a platform through which government meets the business, thus promoting public private partnership across the board.
六. APEC的“桥梁”作用。 其成员经济体中绝大多数也是WTO成员。同时，在亚太地区，已签署的或计划中的地区贸易安排（RTAs）和自由贸易安排（FTAs）就有四十个之多。那么该如何引导这些地区和自由贸易安排的发展，从而为当前取决于多哈发展议程，命运未卜的多边贸易体系添砖加瓦呢？拥有涉足这两方面成员的APEC自然就扮演了一个创造聚合效应的中间人的角色。除此之外，APEC也逐渐将自己定位为一个政府与企业交流的平台，以推动组织内公共私营部门的合作。
No.7: The developed versus the developing, APEC's future. Developing and developed economies advocate differing perspectives into the nature, principle, focus and pace underlying the development of APEC. Should APEC stick to its definition as a regional economic forum or extend into other dimensions? Should it hold to the principle of voluntary participation and consensus through consultation or adopt the practice of “substantial majority” favored by its more prepared developed members? Or should there be some readjustment shifting more fuel to power the running of ECOTECH, from which the developing economies stand to benefit yet on which progress lags far behind its twin brother, TILF? And of course, in which gear should the organization ride alongside the thrust of WTO initiated opening up and integration? For both the developing or the developed, however, change is the call of the day.
No. 8: China and APEC. Figures suffice. In 2003, trade between China and other APEC economies was valued at nearly 600 billion US dollars, accounting for 70 per cent of the country's total foreign trade volume. Nine out of the ten largest trade partners with China, with the exception of EU, are APEC members. And more than 70 per cent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into China during recent years are contributed by other APEC members. In creating an open trade and investment environment in the Asia Pacific region, APEC's role is as much crucial as the full and interactive participation by China, not as a separate entity, but as a member of APEC as well as an emerging giant seeking integration into the global family.
No.9: Pucon, APEC 2004. For this year's Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT), these areas were highlighted. They include: APEC support to the WTO process, trade and security, and free trade agreements (FTAs) and regional trade agreements (RTAs). Once again, this has renewed APEC's policy theme of “A Commitment to Development through Trade and Investment”.