How has APEC benefitted?

How has APEC benefitted?

Bangkok Post photo courtesy

Leaders from 21 Asia-Pacific Economies, including President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., start their week-long meeting today in Bangkok, with the group’s motto “Open. Connect. Balance.”

The leaders will meet for two days starting Friday (18 Nov 2022), after a series of gatherings from today: The Concluding APEC Senior Officials Meeting, as well as the APEC Ministerial Meeting, attended by trade ministers and foreign affairs ministers.

(Thailand, the host of APEC 2022, announced that the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting will take place on 18 and 19 November 2022 in Bangkok.)

Concurrently, the annual APEC CEO Summit will take place during the week.

Next on APEC’s meeting calendar is the Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting which will be held virtually on March 16 to 17.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., representing the Philippines which became a member in November 1989, is expected to lay down his administration’s economic agenda when he meets with his foreign counterparts at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) starting Wednesday.

He is expected to discuss his plans for trade, investment, and post-pandemic economic recovery efforts, according to Malacanang.

“The economic leaders from 21 APEC economies will discuss sustainable trade and investment, reconnecting the region and charting our paths toward post-pandemic recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth,” Office of the Press Secretary Officer-in-Charge Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said during a press briefing.

We join Filipinos in closely monitoring the APEC gathering of heads of state and government which will also serve as an opportunity for the Philippines to push its economic agenda and priorities.

These include empowerment of the micro, small and medium enterprises, and their inclusion in global value chains, recognition of the essential role of maritime crews and seafarers in ensuring stable and resilient supply chains, and ensuring food and energy security as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The 21 member economies of APEC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.

We may ask: How has the region benefited?

APEC has grown to become a dynamic engine of economic growth and one of the most important regional forums in the Asia-Pacific. Its 21 member economies are home to around 2.9 billion people and represent approximately 60 percent of world GDP and 48 percent of world trade in 2018.

As a result of APEC’s work, growth has soared in the region, with real GDP increasing from US$19 trillion in 1989 to US$46.9 trillion in 2018.

Meanwhile, residents of the Asia-Pacific saw their per capita income rise by 74 percent, lifting millions out of poverty and creating a growing middle class in less than three decades.

Bringing the region closer together, reducing trade barriers, and smoothing out differences in regulations have boosted trade which, in turn, has led to this dramatic increase in prosperity.

Average tariffs fell from 17 percent in 1989 to 5.3 percent in 2018. During that same time period, the APEC region’s total trade increased over seven times – outpacing the rest of the world with two-thirds of this trade occurring between member economies.

APEC implements a wide variety of initiatives to help integrate the region’s economies and promote trade while addressing sustainability and social equity.

In our next episode, we will try to look at how APEC has grown to become a dynamic engine of economic growth.

(I. Amigo / MTVN)

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