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APEC is the Asia Pacific’s premier economic forum. The primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC is united in our drive to build a dynamic, sustainable and harmonious Asia-Pacific community by championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration, encouraging economic and technical cooperation, and facilitating a favorable and sustainable business environment. APEC initiatives turn policy goals into concrete results and agreements into tangible benefits.
The idea of APEC was firstly publicly broached by former Prime Minister of Australia Bob Hawke during a speech in Seoul, Korea on 31 January 1989. Ten months later, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Australia to establish APEC. The founding members were: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
China, Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei joined in 1991. Mexico and Papua New Guinea followed in 1993. Chile acceded in 1994. And in 1998, Peru, Russia and Viet Nam joined, taking the full membership to 21.
Between 1989 and 1992, APEC met as an informal senior official and Ministerial level dialogue. In 1993, former United States President Bill Clinton, established the practice of an annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to provide greater strategic vision and direction to cooperation in the region.