This week, leaders and ministers of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) member economies will be meeting in Manila for the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week. On the agenda this year would be discussions on sustainable growth and better trade throughout the Pacific Rim.
APEC economies are reportedly experiencing a period of transition. Nonetheless, it is significant to the economic growth of the global economy. Greater market integration is among the goals here as APEC members may want to pursue trade agreements that allow their local companies to tap into new markets, thereby fostering economic growth and creating job opportunities.
Moreover, a dialogue on regional economic integration is also expected with the Leaders’ Week comprising a meeting with 12 Trans Pacific partnership participants along with 12 of the 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and three of the four founders of the Pacific Alliance. This is in pursuit of the actual development of the APEC-wide Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific or FTAAP.
The idea for the realization of the FTAAP came about during the APEC Leaders meeting in Beijing last November, which was co-chaired by China and the United States. There, guidance was provided so that all 21 APEC members can complete a study on FTAAP in time for the Leaders and Ministers meeting in Lima at the end of 2016. Moreover, while in Manila, the APEC member countries will review the progress on a two-year collective strategic study about issues relating to the realization of the FTAAP.
APEC member countries include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Viet Nam and the United States.