Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) works in three broad areas to meet the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.
Known as APEC's 'Three Pillars', APEC focuses on three key areas:
- Trade and Investment Liberalisation
- Business Facilitation
- Economic and Technical Cooperation
The outcomes of these three areas enable APEC Member Economies to strengthen their economies by pooling resources within the region and achieving efficiencies. Tangible benefits are also delivered to consumers in the APEC region through increased training and employment opportunities, greater choices in the marketplace, cheaper goods and services and improved access to international markets.
Trade and Investment Liberalisation
Trade and Investment Liberalisation reduces and eventually eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment. Protectionism is expensive because it raises prices for goods and services. Thus, Trade and Investment Liberation focuses on opening markets to increase trade and investment among economies, resulting in economic growth for APEC Member Economies and increased standards of living for all. This goal is also now furthered by APEC's Regional Economic Integration
agenda, which includes work on model measures for bilateral and regional trade agreements and an examination of the prospects for a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific.
Business Facilitation focuses on reducing the costs of business transactions, improving access to trade information and aligning policy and business strategies to facilitate growth, and free and open trade. Essentially, Business Facilitation helps importers and exporters in Asia Pacific meet and conduct business more efficiently, thus reducing costs of production and leading to increased trade, cheaper goods and services and more employment opportunities due to an expanded economy. APEC's Structural Reform
agenda addresses this area: it focuses on reforming domestic policies and institutions that adversely affect the operation of markets, and the capacity of businesses to access markets and to operate efficiently.
Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH)
ECOTECH is dedicated to providing training and cooperation to build capacities in all APEC Member Economies to take advantage of global trade. This area builds capacity at the institutional and personal level to assist APEC Member Economies and its people gain the necessary skills to meet their economic potential.