The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

2023-06-17

ABOUT APEC

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, was founded in 1989 as the most important forum for economic and trade cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, with 21 members located in the Pacific Rim.

 

APEC's 21 member economies are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; Viet Nam.
 ( Click to learn more about APEC's 21 member economies )
 (
Click to watch a clip about APEC )

 

In 2021, the global trade in goods and commercial services of the 21 member states accounted for 48% of the world. The population was roughly 2.95 billion people, accounting for 38% of the global population. The APEC region generated a nominal GDP of USD 59 trillion in 2021, accounting for 62% of the global nominal GDP.

(Annex A: PSU Report-APEC Chart in 2022)

 

APEC's main work includes trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation among its members. Decisions are mainly made through open dialogue and consensus, and commitments are undertaken on a non-binding, voluntary basis.

APEC conducts dialogues through periodic meetings, with different levels of meetings and frequency. Held four times a year, the Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs) are the core of APEC structure. SOMs connect the discussions among the ministerial level, committees and working groups. Apart from traditional trade issues, SOMs also include many cross-cutting issues related to trade, including energy, ocean and fishery, anti-terrorism, women and emergency response.
( Click to see
APEC Structure )

 


Taiwan and the APEC


Taiwan joined the APEC in 1991. In addition to actively participating in numerous conferences and activities, it hosted relevant meetings and events. For example, in 2018, it hosted 27 APEC meetings in Taiwan and co-hosted 7 events overseas. In APEC, Taiwan actively promoted new concepts, new issues, and cross-domain cooperation, and demonstrated its substantive contributions in the Asia-Pacific region. This not only raised its prominence in the Asia-Pacific region and the international arena but also fostered economic and trade diplomacy and cooperation.

 

2023 Priorities "Interconnected. Innovative. Inclusive"

(Host Economy: United States)

 

APEC First Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM1):

(Photo source: APEC SOM1 Photo Gallery)

APEC's First Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM1) was held from February 27-28, 2023. The meeting focused on the topics of "APEC 2023 Cross-Cutting Scene-setter", "Interconnected", "Innovative and Inclusive", and "APEC Governance." Mr. William Liu, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, delivered our comments on the topic of "Interconnected."

Mr. William Liu stated that the APEC region has gradually recovered from the pandemic, but still faces many risks in 2023 such as inflation, high interest rates etc. Amid this uncertain international economic environment, APEC economies should not only formulate clear and coordinated policies, but also advance regional economic prosperity by strengthening supply chain resilience, promoting digital trade, fostering regional economic integration, and supporting the multilateral trading system. We are willing to proactively implement the ministers’decisions and instructions reached during the WTO MC12 with all APEC economies and support advancing the goal of APEC regional economic integration through the implementation of the FTAAP agenda work plan. We welcome and support the themes and priority areas set by the United States for this year's APEC meeting and willing to work closely with the United States and all members to make this year's meeting fruitful.

 

APEC Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2):

(Photo source: APEC SOM2 Photo Gallery)

APEC’s Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2) was held on May 24-25, 2023. The meeting focused on the issues of the "Interconnected", "Innovative", "Inclusive", and "APEC Governance." Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, delivered Chinese Taipei's comments on "Interconnection."

Director General Kiang stated that due to the challenges brought about by the downturn of the global economy and the weaker momentum for trade and investment, Chinese Taipei believes that expanding linkages in the region could help strengthen supply chain resilience. We will cooperate with APEC economies on implementing the MC12 outcomes and are hopeful about achieving concrete outcomes at the MC13. Also, we welcome the Phase Three of Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP III) to tackle chokepoints of supply chains. Simultaneously, we will strive to achieve the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap (ASCR), accelerating the development of digital trade.  Through the high-standard and comprehensive regional agreements, we are willing and ready to realize the goals of the FTAAP.

 


2022 Priorities " Open. Connect. Balance"

(Host Economy: Thailand)

--click on the heading to learn more about Thailand's 2022 priorities --

 

APEC First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1)

APEC’s First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) was held from February 24-25, 2022. The meeting focused on the topics of Open to All Opportunities, Connect in All Dimensions, Balance in All Aspects, and Governance. Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, delivered our comments on issues related to “Open to All Opportunities.”

Ms. Cynthia Kiang stated that trade and investment are critical enablers for addressing the impacts of the pandemic and ensuring strong economic recoveries. It is important for members to work together in order to build a more innovative, inclusive, and sustainable trade and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region. We call on APEC members to show their support for the multilateral trading system, and actively participate in WTO negotiations and demonstrate necessary flexibility, with the aim of delivering concrete outcomes in MC12.

We underscore that green economies and digital economies pave the way for the future. We have identified circular economy and green technology as the core drivers for next-generation industries. We set digital technology as the key accelerator to promote industrial transformation. We will continue to work with all APEC members in promoting economic recovery and realizing the Putrajaya Vision 2040.

 

APEC Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2)

APEC 2022 SOM2

APEC’s Second Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM2) was held from May 18-19, 2022. The meeting deliberated on Open to All Opportunities, Connect in All Dimensions, Balance in All Aspects, and Governance. Mr. William Liu, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, spoke on issues related to “Open to All Opportunities.”

Mr. William Liu stated that aiming for a trade agreement like FTAAP, members should demonstrate flexibility on potential elements to be discussed and explored, such as digital trade and inclusiveness. In addition, listening to the voices of multi-stakeholders, learning the expectations and suggestions of the business community, would be useful in ensuring that the benefits of trade agreement would be shared by all.

( SOM2 Photo Gallery)

 

APEC's Third Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM3)

APEC's Third Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM3) was held on August 30 and 31, 2022 in Chiang Mei, Thailand. The meeting deliberated on the following priority areas: Open to All Opportunities, Connect in All Dimensions, and Balance in All Aspects. The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) sent delegates to Thailand to attend the meeting.

During SOM3, economiess reiterated the outcomes of WTO MC12 while endeavoring to reach a consensus on the FTAAP work plan. Additionally, it sought to address the concerns of economies on the post-pandemic recovery of services and the support needed to develop travel, transportation and other business services, while eliminating barriers to these services.

 

APEC's Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting (CSOM)

APEC's Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting (CSOM) was held on November 15 and 16, 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting deliberated on the following priority areas: Open to All Opportunities, Connect in All Dimensions, Balance in All Aspects. Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), delivered an address that touched on issues related to "Open to All Opportunities."

DG Kiang stated that Taiwan was willing to work with all economies to implement the ministers' decisions and instructions, particularly on WTO reform, fisheries subsidies, and the Joint Statement Initiatives (JSI). Moreover, we welcome continued discussions to promote environmental sustainability through trade in goods and services. She also said that we were ready to work with all economies to create sustainable and inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

 


2021 Priorities "Join, Work, Grow Together"

(Host Economy: New Zealand)

--click on the heading to learn more about 2021 priorities --

 

APEC First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1)

APEC’s First Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM1) was held from March 11-12, 2021. The meeting focused on Trade and Investment; Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth; Innovation and Digitalization; and Governance. Mr. Henry Liu , Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, delivered our comments on issues related to trade and investment.

 

 

APEC Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2)

APEC's Second Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM2) was held from June 2-3, 2021. The meeting had four sessions: Trade and Investment; Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth; Innovation and Digitalization; and Governance. Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, spoke on trade and investment related issues. All APEC members agreed on ensuring the supply and flow of COVID-19 vaccines and related goods, and recognized the importance of environmentally sustainable development.

 

 

APEC Third Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM3)

APEC’s Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) was held from September 2-3, 2021. The meeting deliberated on Trade and Investment; Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth; Innovation and Digitalization; and APEC Governance. Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, spoke about trade and investment related issues. 

Ms. Cynthia Kiang said that all members now face a new wave of COVID-19 and severe challenges such as intensified climate change. It is urgent for all members to work together to overcome difficulties. At this time, the multilateral trading system should demonstrate its capability in fighting against the pandemic, in relieving the effects of the pandemic, and in reviving a post-pandemic economy.

 

 

APEC Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM)

The APEC Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM) was held on 5 November, 2021. The meeting focused on Trade and Investment; Economic, Ecotech and Digital; Governance; Conclusion of 2021 and Introduction to 2022. Ms. Cynthia Kiang, Director General of the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs, deliberated our comments on trade and investment related issues. 

Ms. Cynthia Kiang expressed her appreciation at the efforts made by all members in accelerating the movement of vaccines and related medical goods, and praised this year’s achievements in promoting green trade and environmental sustainability. In addition, the pandemic has made digitalization a core motivator for economic recovery. This September we hosted an APEC webinar for members to share their experiences in assisting companies in digital transformation and promoting trade. On the basis of deepening economic integration and supporting the multilateral trading system, we will continue working with members for regional economic stability and prosperity.

 



Useful Links

Chinese Taipei APEC Study Center

APEC Secretariat

 

 

 

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