President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to Attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting 2009 in Singapore

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The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was established in 1989 in recognition of the growing inter-dependence of Asia-Pacific economies. In that year, 12 Asia-Pacific nations met in Canberra, Australia, to establish APEC. The founding members were: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States.Today, APEC has 21 member economies, following the addition of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong China, Chinese Taipei, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, the Russian Federation, and Vietnam.At the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the leaders take up policies that will be jointly implemented in pursuit of the three main pillars of activity of APEC – trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation.Since APEC’s inception in 1989, APEC’s total trade has grown 395 percent, significantly outpacing that of the rest of the world. APEC has become the premier forum for trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific and has set targets dates for “free and open trade” – not later than the year 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies, as stipulated in what is now known as the Bogor Goals. …