Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional Asia-Pacific economic forum established in November 1989.

APEC consists of 21 members aims to create greater prosperity for the people of the Asia-Pacific region by promoting free trade and supporting a balanced, inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region by aligning regulations and standards across the region.

Malaysia is one of the founding members of APEC in 1989 together with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United States of America. Other APEC members include Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Chinese Taipei and Vietnam.

The list of the 21 APEC members are as follows:-

APEC Members


Date of Joining APEC



6-7 Nov 1989

 Brunei Darussalam

6-7 Nov 1989


6-7 Nov 1989


11-12 Nov 1994

 People’s Republic of China

12-14 Nov 1991

 Hong Kong, China

12-14 Nov 1991


6-7 Nov 1989


6-7 Nov 1989

 Republic of Korea

6-7 Nov 1989


6-7 Nov 1989


17-19 Nov 1993

 New Zealand

6-7 Nov 1989

 Papua New Guinea

17-19 Nov 1993


14-15 Nov 1998

 The Philippines

6-7 Nov 1989


14-15 Nov 1998


6-7 Nov 1989

 Chinese Taipei

12-14 Nov 1991


6-7 Nov 1989

 United States of America

6-7 Nov 1989


14-15 Nov 1998

( List of APEC Members in alphabetical order)



21 APEC Economies Members

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APEC – A Multilateral Economic Forum


APEC operates as a cooperative, multilateral economic and trade forum through open dialogue, Member economies participate on the basis of open dialogue and respect for views of all participants. In APEC, all economies have an equal say and decision-making is reached by consensus. There are no binding commitments or treaty obligations. Commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis and capacity building projects through skills training and technological know-how to help members to implement APEC initiatives. APEC’s initiatives turn policy goals into concrete results and agreements into tangible benefits for the APEC members. Established in 1989, APEC economies account for 60 per cent of the world’s gross domestic product and 48 per cent of global trade.

APEC ensures that goods, services, investment and people move easily across borders among the 21 APEC members. Trades is facilitated by APEC’s members through speedy customs procedures at borders; more favorable business climates behind the border; and aligning regulations and standards across the region. Products can be easily exported with just one set of common standards across all economies following APEC’s initiatives to synchronize regulatory systems among the Asia-Pacific economies.

APEC works to assist all Asia-Pacific region to participate in the growing economy, i.e. to provide projects in digital skills training for rural communities and help indigenous women to export their products abroad. On the impacts of climate change, APEC members also increase energy efficiency and promote sustainable management of forest and marine resources. The forum also deal with new challenges to the region’s economic well-being, i.e. ensuring disaster resilience, planning for pandemics, and addressing terrorism.

APEC activities are centrally funded by annual contributions from APEC member economies presently totaling USD5 million. APEC Secretariat is based in Singapore. These contributions are used to support Secretariat and to fund various projects which support APEC’s economic and trade goals among the 21 APEC members.

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“Bogor Goals”- APEC’s Initiatives in 1994

One of APEC’s initiative in 1994 – “Bogor Goals” has assisted participating members economies to reduce trade barriers and promote free flow of goods and services between the 21 APEC economies. Due to Bogor Goals, tariff rates are lower and many sectors in Malaysia are open and has benefited due to foreign investment among the Asia-Pacific region. APEC economies play a big part in Malaysia as they account to more than 80% of Malaysia’s trade and 70% of foreign investment in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector.


Malaysia Host APEC 2020

Every year, the 21 APEC Member Economies will rotate and host the APEC Leader’s Meeting. The APEC host economy is responsible for chairing the annual Economic Leaders’ Meeting, selected ministerial meetings, senior officials’ meetings, the APEC Business Advisory Council and the APEC Study Centers Consortium. 

Malaysia will host this year APEC 2020. It will be the 31st Forum held since 1989. Malaysia last hosted the APEC meeting in 1998, with the theme “Strengthening the Foundations for Growth”.

Hosting APEC 2020, will once again put Malaysia in the international front besides showcase the many other aspects of Malaysia to the world.

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APEC 2020 – Theme: “Optimizing Human Potential towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity : Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”

Malaysia hosted this year, 27th APEC Leader’s Meeting on 20 November 2020. It is the first time ever in history, this meeting is held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. Malaysia Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin chaired the 27th APEC Leader’s Meeting and participated by all 21 APEC Economic Leaders.


Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin chaired the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leader’s Meeting on 20 November 2020


This year APEC 2020 theme is “Optimising Human Potential Towards a Resilient Future of Shared Prosperity: Pivot. Prioritise. Progress”. The theme reflects the Asia Pacific region’s resilience, agility and inclusive economic growth through the concept of Shared Prosperity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malaysia has adopted the following 3P approach towards the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic:-

1.Pivot: To ensure that APEC work programmes respond promptly and effectively to the COVID-19 crisis;

2.Prioritise: To identify key meetings and events that must be held this year, which are essential for the advancement and realisation of Malaysia’s priority areas and targeted deliverables;

3.Progress: To embrace the new normal by convening all meetings in a virtual format.


Member Economies are urged to stay united in combating the pandemic and highlighting the need for an affordable, accessible and equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine. APEC assumes a central role in spearheading post-pandemic economic recovery besides the progress APEC has made on trade and investment in the last three decades and the benefits it brings to the 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

APEC’s Leaders pledged to work together to support the following priorities in:- Improving the narrative of trade and investment; Inclusive of Economic participation through digital economy and technology and Driving innovative and Inclusive sustainability for the 21 Member Economies.


2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The APEC 2020 was successfully concluded by the 21 APEC Economic Leaders. The 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration and the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 was adopted at the APEC 2020 Economic Leader’s meeting on 20 November 2020.


21 APEC Economies Leaders at the 2020 Kuala Lumpur Declaration


The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, recognizing the unprecedented challenges the region’s economies face amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. APEC’s Leaders pledged to work together to support the following 5 priorities as in:-

Combatting and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic;
– Improving the narrative of trade and investment;
– Inclusive economic participation through digital economy and technology;
– Driving innovative and inclusive sustainability;
– Strengthening stakeholder engagement

For information on the 2020 Leaders’ Declaration, please log-in to:-



APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040

The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 was officially launched at the APEC 2020 Leader’s Meeting that will chart the future of the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 aspires for an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040 for the prosperity of all its people and future generations.

Three key economic drivers to achieve this aspiration is “Trade and Investment”, “Innovation and Digitalisation” and “Strong, Balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth”.
The next APEC Leader’s Meeting will be hosted by New Zealand in 2021.

For information on APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, please log-in to:-


#MyAPEC 2020 Exhibition 

In conjunction with Malaysia as the host of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) organised the #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition which is the first-ever virtual exhibition held during the APEC meeting.

This exhibition is held from 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020. The 4 months virtual exhibition will include online pitching, virtual one-to-one business meeting (eBizMatch) and webinars. The online exhibition is held in response to the rapid digitalisation around the world, catalysed by the restrictions and social distincing guidelines put in place from the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. The online platform provides Malaysia and other APEC economies, business opportunities to engage with foreign buyers and acts as a platform for to them to adapt to a virtual engagements.

The exhibition will feature Malaysian companies and exhibitors from all the APEC member economies. The exhibition will assist to increase business opportunities to all the exhibitors with 8 targeted sectors as follows:-

– Technology
– Innovative F&B and Agrofood
– Green Tech & Energy
– Healthcare
– Professional and Business Services
– Transport and Logistics
– Lifestyle
– Building Materials


The online exhibition has amassed over 6,000 registered viewers on the online platform in just under 2 months after its commencement. Since its launch on 1 September 2020, over 300 buyers from 51 economies have registered in the online platform, with the top 5 being Malaysia, Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Japan. The #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition is currently hosting over 300 companies comprising both Malaysian and international companies from APEC Member Economies.

The online exhibition platform also include 32 Business Pitching sessions been carried out showcasing companies from all the targeted sectors. Viewers were provided the opportunity to contact to the respective companies through real-time communications facilities during these sessions.

34 Virtual B2B Meetings have so far been arranged between exhibitors and local buyers from Malaysia as well as with foreign buyers from the USA, Japan, China, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among others. The exhibition also hosts Webinars, having broadcasted 4 live presentations on key topics with chat features for participants to engage in Q&A.

Through this initiative, Malaysian exporters will be connected to international buyers that are interested to source product and services from Malaysia, arranged by 46 MATRADE overseas offices located all over the world.

For more information on #MyAPEC2020 Exhibition, please contact MATRADE at  Email:


MATRADE Contact Details

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603-6207 7077; Fax: +603-6203 7037