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  1. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation - Wikipedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia-Pacific_Economic_Cooperation
    • History
    • Member Economies
    • Possible Enlargement
    • Business Facilitation
    • APEC Study Centre Consortium
    • APEC Business Advisory Council
    • Annual APEC Economic Leaders' Meetings
    • Criticism
    • See Also
    • Further Reading

    The APEC was initially inspired when ASEAN’s series of post-ministerial conferences, launched in the mid-1980s, had demonstrated the feasibility and value of regular conferences among ministerial-level representatives of both developed and developing economies. By 1996, the post ministerial conferences had expanded to embrace 12 members (the then six members of ASEAN and its six dialogue partners). The developments led Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke to believe the necessity of region-wide co-operation on economic matters. In January 1989, Bob Hawke called for more effective economic co-operation across the Pacific Rim region. This led to the first meeting of APEC in the Australian capital of Canberra in November, chaired by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans. Attended by ministers from twelve countries, the meeting concluded with commitments for future annual meetings in Singapore and South Korea. Ten months later, 12 Asia-Pacific economies met in Canberra, Austra...

    APEC currently has 21 members. However, the criterion for membership is that the member is a separate economy, rather than a state. As a result, APEC uses the term member economies rather than member countries to refer to its members. One result of this criterion is that membership of the forum includes Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, participating under the name "Chinese Taipei") alongside People's Republic of China (see Cross-Strait relations), as well as Hong Kong, which entered APEC as a British colony but it is now a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. APEC also includes three official observers: ASEAN, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.

    India has requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Officials have decided not to allow India to join for various reasons, including the fact that India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do.However, India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Macau, Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador, are among a dozen other economies that have applied for membership in APEC. Colombia applied for APEC's membership as early as in 1995, but its bid was halted as the organisation stopped accepting new members from 1993 to 1996, and the moratorium was further prolonged to 2007 due to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Guamhas also been actively seeking a separate membership, citing the example of Hong Kong, but the request is opposed by the United States, which currently represents Guam.

    APEC has long been at the forefront of reform efforts in the area of business facilitation. Between 2002 and 2006 the costs of business transactions across the region was reduced by 6%, thanks to the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAPI). Between 2007 and 2010, APEC hopes to achieve an additional 5% reduction in business transaction costs. To this end, a new Trade Facilitation Action Plan has been endorsed. According to a 2008 research brief published by the World Bank as part of its Trade Costs and Facilitation Project, increasing transparency in the region's trading system is critical if APEC is to meet its Bogor Goal targets. The APEC Business Travel Card, a travel documentfor visa-free business travel within the region is one of the concrete measures to facilitate business. In May 2010 Russia joined the scheme, thus completing the circle.

    In 1993, APEC Leaders decided to establish a network of APEC Study Centres (APCs) among universities and research institutions in member economies. The purpose is to foster cooperation among tertiary and research institutes of member economies, thus having better academic collaboration on key regional economic challenges. To encourage independence from the APEC conference, the APCs are funded independently and choose their own research topics. As of December 2018, there are 70 APCs among the member economies. An annual conference is usually held in the host economy for that year.

    The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) was created by the APEC Economic Leaders in November 1995 with the aim of providing advice to the APEC Economic Leaders on ways to achieve the Bogor Goals and other specific business sector priorities, and to provide the business perspective on specific areas of co-operation. Each economy nominates up to three members from the private sector to ABAC. These business leaders represent a wide range of industry sectors. ABAC provides an annual report to APEC Economic Leaders containing recommendations to improve the business and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific region, and outlining business views about priority regional issues. ABAC is also the only non-governmental organisation that is on the official agenda of the APEC Economic Leader's Meeting.

    Since its formation in 1989, APEC has held annual meetings with representatives from all member economies. The first four annual meetings were attended by ministerial-level officials. Beginning in 1993, the annual meetings are named APEC Economic Leaders' Meetings and are attended by the heads of government from all member economies except Taiwan, which is represented by a ministerial-level official. Despite a similar nature, the annual Leaders' Meetings are not called summits.

    APEC has been criticised for promoting free trade agreements that would impose restrictions on national and local laws, which regulate and ensure labour rights, environmental protection and safe and affordable access to medicine. According to the organisation, it is "the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region" established to "further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community". The effectiveness and fairness of its role has been questioned, especially from the viewpoints of European countries that cannot take part in APECand Pacific Island nations that cannot participate but stand to be affected by its decisions.

    Fazzone, Patrick B. (2012). "The Trans-Pacific Partnership—Towards a Free Trade Agreement of Asia Pacific?". Georgetown Journal of International Law. 43 (3): 695–743. ISSN 1550-5200.
    Alkan, Abdulkadir (2014). "APEC 2014: Better diplomatic ties for better economic relations". Daily Sabah.
  2. Colombia - Wikipedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia

    Colombia (/ k ə ˈ l ʌ m b i ə / (listen) kə-LUM-bee-ə, /-ˈ l ɒ m-/- LOM-; [12] Spanish: [koˈlombja] (listen)), officially the Republic of Colombia, [a] is a country in South America.It is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest ...

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