• Kyodo

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum:

• Was established in 1989 as a gathering to boost trade among Pacific Rim economies. Its activities are based on nonbinding principles.

• Currently groups 21 economies — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

• Accounts for half the world’s global economic output, some 40 percent of its population and 44 percent of its trade value.

• Rotates chairmanship annually with the chair hosting a series of meetings throughout each year, including ministerial meetings and the leaders summit.

• Has various committees that discuss issues ranging from market access and intellectual property rights to human resource development.

• Is advised by the nongovernmental APEC Business Advisory Council.

• Aims to create a regionwide free-trade zone, dubbed the Free Trade Area in the Asia Pacific, or FTAAP.

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