President Bill Clinton, who initiated the first meeting of Leaders from APEC member economies, has voiced support for APEC’s continued work to build networks of cooperation across the Asia-Pacific region. 

In video remarks ahead of the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of APEC’s founding, President Clinton provided historical context for the meeting and explained its role in fostering meaningful, specific action to address key regional and global issues. 

View President Clinton’s video remarks 

“A little more than twenty years ago, I was honored to convene the very first APEC Leader’s Meeting in Blake Island in Washington,” President Clinton said. “We were entering a new era of globalization and the Asia-Pacific region was well on its way to becoming the most important source of global growth and dynamism.” 

“In order to seize the opportunity we had to find ways to work together to advance our shared interests and overcome some common challenges,” he added. “This meeting has helped to do just that.” 

President Clinton helped to define APEC and its agenda throughout his eight years in office, from 1993 to 2001, contributing to one of the longest periods of prosperity in American history, which included the creation of more than 20 million jobs. 

He described the progress of the Leaders’ Meeting in “laying out a regional vision for trade liberalization and economic integration,” as articulated in the Bogor Goals that President Clinton and his fellow Leaders formulated just one year after their inaugural meeting in November 1993. They continue to serve as a beacon for engagement between member economies to this day.  

“Through APEC’s leadership, the first Information Technology Agreement, of 1997, helped to ensure that the Asia-Pacific region will thrive and compete in an emerging market,” President Clinton noted. Expanding the agreement to boost access to a new generation of information and communications technology products is among the initiatives currently being pursued in APEC. 

“Stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights have helped to encourage more innovation,” he added. “Regional responses to infectious diseases and natural disasters have clearly improved and greater transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms are now in place.” 

A new APEC Accord on Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth to support efforts like these is among the measures that will be considered by Leaders in Beijing. 

“APEC is a model of how we should move forward together in the twenty first century,” President Clinton concluded. “Thank all of you for making Asia-Pacific community a reality, and for continuing to build a more inclusive, more secure, more sustainable world for generations to come.” 

The 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting will take place in Beijing on 10-11 November. 

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For more:           

The story of APEC, the first Leaders’ Meeting called by President Clinton and key regional initiatives are featured here: Photo Journal: Charting 25 Years of APEC Progress 

Current and former APEC Leaders and Ministers describe how member economies are building on the region’s progress in the new APEC 25th anniversary video

For an overview of measures in focus during the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, click here

Program details for the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, including specific event times and venues, can be viewed at this link

For further details, please contact:

David Hendrickson +65 9137 3886/+86 132 4176 9694 at drh@apec.org

Michael Chapnick +65 9647 4847 at mc@apec.org 

More on APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found on www.apec.org. You can also follow APEC on Twitter and Sina Weibo and join us on Facebook and LinkedIn.