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WHILE-VIEWING:

While watching, pay attention to the following words and expressions in context. Use them in your answers to the questions below and discussion.

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What Is the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)?

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • read the passage
  • focus on key terms
  • summarize the information
  • elaborate on the concepts

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an economic group of 21 members, formed in 1989, with the primary goal of promoting free trade and sustainable development in the Pacific Rim economies.

Key Takeaways

  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a 21-member economic forum that was established in 1989.
  • APEC is made up of countries, including the U.S., that promote free trade and sustainable development in Pacific Rim economies.
  • APEC engages in multiple micro causes, such as intellectual property rights and emergency preparedness, and has many sub-groups that aim to advance policy and awareness.
  • APEC has been fundamental in reducing tariffs, improving customs efficiency, and closing the gap between developing and developed economies.

Understanding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC’s principal goal is to ensure that goods, services, capital, and labor can move easily across borders. This includes increasing custom efficiency at borders, encouraging favorable business climates within member economies, and harmonizing regulations and policies across the region.

The creation of APEC was primarily in response to the increasing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies. The formation of APEC was part of the proliferation of regional economic blocs in the late 20th century, such as the European Union (EU) and the (now-defunct) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Nations Comprising APEC

The founding members of APEC were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the U.S. Since its launch, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam have joined its ranks.

APEC refers to its members as economies rather than as states due to the focus on trade and economic issues rather than the sometimes delicate diplomatic issues of the region, including the status of Taiwan and Hong Kong. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) refuses to recognize Taiwan because it claims the island as a province under its constitution. Hong Kong, meanwhile, functions as semi-autonomous regions of China and not a sovereign state.

Official observers of APEC include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).

APEC’s 21 member economies

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Actions and Goals

At a landmark summit meeting in 1994, APEC announced a lofty goal of establishing free trade and investment regimes in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010 for members with developed economies. The group hoped to achieve those same goals for its developing economy members by 2020.

APEC provides funding for approximately 100 projects annually, with around USD 15.4 million made available in 2018.

In 1995, APEC adopted the Osaka Action Agenda, a program designed to facilitate business activities, liberalize trade and investment and promote economic and technical cooperation. However, progress on these efforts has somewhat slowed, due to APEC’s culture of making all decisions by consensus. While some decisions are unanimous, they are not legally binding on the member governments.

Sub-Groups of APEC

APEC maintains a policy support unit to provide research and analysis to support the organization’s goals for the region, as well as special working groups to explore and promote various issues and components of economic development. These groups engage in multiple micro causes that aim to advance policy and awareness. Examples of these sub-groups include:

  • Gender Issues: APEC sponsors a policy partnership on women and the economy to advance the economic integration of women. An estimated 600 million women are currently in the region’s labor force.
  • Intellectual Property Rights: APEC’s Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group (IPEG) studies and exchanges information regarding the enforcement of intellectual property rights protections in the region. It promotes and facilitates cooperation to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
  • Emergency Preparedness: APEC’s Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) promotes business resilience, public-private partnerships, and information sharing among members to help build the region’s capacity to deal with emergencies and natural disasters. Economies along the geologically and climatologically active Pacific Rim are subject to events such as tsunamis, typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

The APEC Summit | 18-19 November 2022

Jacinda Ardern has spoken with Xi Jinping about cooperation between New Zealand and China, while also raising areas of tension and warning that international norms that had benefited the two countries were “being tested”.

KEY TERMS

MATCH THE TERM WITH ITS DEFINITION:
primary partially self-governing, esp. with reference to internal affairs
micro / macrothe steps you take to make sure you are safe before, during and after an emergency or natural disaster 
emergency preparednessshowing complete agreement
awarenessto keep in a certain condition, operation, or force;to keep in existence; preserve
efficiency refers to each party obeying the terms of the contract and performing the duties outlined therein
proliferation a rapid and often excessive spread or increase
semi-autonomoushaving knowledge or realization of; conscious of
unanimousextremely small/ very large in scale, scope, or capability.
legally bindingcompetence; effectiveness
maintainfirst in rank or importance; chief
RESTORE THE SENTENCE BY FILLING IN THE KEY TERM:
1. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is an economic group of 21 members, formed in 1989, with the …………….. goal of promoting free trade and sustainable development in the Pacific Rim economies.
2. APEC engages in multiple …………….. causes, such as intellectual property rights and …………….., and has many sub-groups that aim to advance policy and ……………...
3. APEC’s principal goal is to ensure that goods, services, capital, and labor can move easily across borders, which includes increasing custom …………….. at borders, encouraging favorable business climates within member economies, and harmonizing regulations and policies across the region.
4. The formation of APEC was part of the …………….. of regional economic blocs in the late 20th century, such as the European Union (EU) and the (now-defunct) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
5. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) refuses to recognize Taiwan because it claims the island as a province under its constitution; Hong Kong, meanwhile, functions as …………….. regions of China and not a sovereign state.
6. However, progress on these efforts has somewhat slowed, due to APEC’s culture of making all decisions by consensus. While some decisions are …………….., they are not …………….. on the member governments.
7. APEC …………….. a policy support unit to provide research and analysis to support the organization’s goals for the region, as well as special working groups to explore and promote various issues and components of economic development.
COMPLETE THE PASSAGE WITH THE WORDS FROM THE BOX:
encourage 
invigorate 
leveragere
store 
develop
implement 
confront
revitalize
incentivize 
accelerate 

EMBRACE-ENGAGE-ENABLE

the recommendations of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) to

APEC Economic Leaders

To achieve speedy and sustained recovery, ABAC calls on APEC Leaders to:

1 ……………. monetary policy to keep inflation under control.

2 ……………. the food security crisis by pursuing peace and security, multilateral cooperation 

3 ……………. trade to achieve health goals by eliminating restrictions to the movement of essential goods and services critical to fighting the pandemic.

Reopen borders safely to 4 …………… economic activity to normalcy.

5 ……………. a collective response to climate change, in particular towards an effective transition to a low carbon economy.

6 ………… the transition to the use of more sustainable energy and low carbon technology.

7 ………… regional economic integration by taking prompt action on the multi-year work plan to achieve the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.

Take urgent action to 8 ………….. the multilateral trading system.

Reset and 9 …………….. the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) economy.

10 ……………. faster and wider uptake of digital technologies across the region.

MIXED BAG

APEC Should Rise Above Differences: Minister

APEC Ministerial Meeting Bangkok, Thailand | 17 November 2022

Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies convene in person in Bangkok for the first time since 2018 1) at/against the backdrop of increasing inflation, food and energy prices, inequality and climate change.

2) Together,/x ministers are aligning their ideas for advancing Asia-Pacific integration, trade and investment in the 3) shared/common pursuit of a sustained and inclusive recovery in a highly uncertain world.

4) The/ x 2022 APEC Ministerial Meeting is co-chaired by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai and Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawit.

“Our meeting today takes place 5) at/ in a pivotal juncture,” said Deputy Prime Minister Don in his opening remarks.

“The world 6) is staring/ has started at hyperinflation married to recession, broken supply chain and scarcities, climate calamities, 7) as well as/ as long as the precariously outdated mode of production 8) , that/that seriously needs recalibration in light of technological innovation.”

“And making the matter worse, we see the increased cancel mentality that 9) permits/permeates every conversation and action, makes any compromise 10) appear/ to appear impossible,” said Deputy Prime Minister Don.