Saturday, October 13, 2012

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 9.11.2009

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries (formally Member Economies) that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world, initially, with the notion to the likely dominance of the sphere of economic influences of the highly industrialized Japan (a member of G8) in the Asia-Pacific region and for the economic interests of Australian agricultural/raw material products to search for new buyers other than the demand-declining European market, APEC works gradually (to include members of Newly industrialized economy at the time, although the agenda of free trade was a sensitive issue for the developing NIEs, and for ASEAN economies to explore new export market opportunities of the natural resources such as natural gas and seek regional economic integration (industrial integration) by means of foreign direct investment on the behalf of ASEAN) to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. Members account for approximately 40% of the world's population, approximately 54% of the world's gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade. 
An annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except Republic of China (represented under the name Chinese Taipei) by a ministerial-level official. The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and until 2011, a famous tradition involved the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host member. This First Day Cover postmarked 9.11.2009 commemorates the 2009 Meetings which were hosted by Singapore from February to November.

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