Functions of APEC
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in order to enhance economic and diplomatic understanding between Asian and Pacific nations. In the present context of emerging cooperation between Asian and non Asian nations, it is important to analyze the functions of this organization. This paper will analyze the role of the APEC from its inception till today. The APEC shows the emergence of economic understanding between the two regions Asia and Pacific. This organization shows the emergence of alliance between countries belonging to Asia and Pacific regions. Since the 1990 decades the Asian countries have showed impressive economic development. In spite of the recent currency crisis problems, Asian economy is expected to grow from medium and long term perspective. Asian economies have gained through their economic alliance with Pacific countries. Therefore, it is important for the Pacific countries to have understanding with the major Asian economic powers. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 4) The APEC, established in 1989, consists of Asian countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 4) Impressed by the performance of this organization, major powers such as the Unites States, Canada, Mexico, Vietnam, and Russia also showed interest to join the APEC. This implies that this organization has showed organic growth over a period of time exhibiting its popularity among various countries of the world. The member countries have realized the need for economic cooperation in order to achieve their economic progress. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 4) Since 1989, the APEC members have pursued the principles of ‘trade liberalization’ and ‘open regionalism’. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 6) Asian and Pacific countries have been attempting to liberalize their economies in order to obtain similar response from other countries. This has allowed the Pacific countries to invest in Asia and vice versa. The recent currency crisis has hindered further liberalization programs due to the fear of emergence of protectionist measures. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 6) After the Asian financial crisis, the Asian countries have adhered to principle of trade liberalization. Through the concept of “open regionalism”, this association has welcomed the countries belonging to different regions. This has allowed economic cooperation between not only Asian countries but also Asian nations and their European counterparts. At regional level, various countries have established their regional organizations. They are not able to deal with countries situated in other regions of the world. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 6) The establishment of APEC is the assertion of the domination of East Asia in the world economy. This is because by 1997, East Asian countries had dominated nearly 24 percent of world trade. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 53) This development has allowed the East Asian nations to establish their own organization in order to enhance understanding among East Asian nations. Gradually, East Asian nations have enhanced their trade relationship with the Pacific countries. (Drysdale and Vines, p. 53) The APEC was established with the intention of countering regional associations such as the European Union (EU), SAARC, and other organizations that had threatened the development of world trade. By establishing links with European countries, the APEC member countries could ensure trade relationship with countries belonging to various blocks. This has benefited both Asian as well as European nations. This association has been considered as “non-discriminatory association” (Drysdale and Vines, p. 56) This shows that other associations, being regional organizations, were discriminatory associations. They discriminated between the countries belonging to different regions depending on their geographical location. (Drysdale...
References: Drysdale, Peter, and Vines, David. (eds) 1998, Europe, East Asia and APEC: A Shared Global Agenda?, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Ruland, Jurgen, Manske, Eva, and Draguhn, Werner. (eds) 2002, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) The first decade, Routledge.
Thompson, Grahame. (ed) 1998, Economic Dynamism in the Asia-Pacific: the growth of integration and competitiveness, Taylor & Francis.
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