APEC Process
20:51 | 21/11/2016

APEC: Cooperation and Consensus

APEC operates as a cooperative, multilateral economic and trade forum. 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 help members implement APEC initiatives.

APEC's structure is based on both a "bottom-up" and "top-down" approach. Four core committees and their respective working groups provide strategic policy recommendations to APEC Leaders and Ministers who annually set the vision for overarching goals and initiatives. The working groups are then tasked with implementing these initiatives through a variety of APEC-funded projects. Members also take individual and collective actions to carry out APEC initiatives in their individual economies with the assistance of APEC capacity building projects.

APEC Capacity Building Projects

Capacity building projects play an important role in helping translate APEC's goals into reality. By enhancing members' capacity through skills training and technological know-how, APEC-funded projects strengthen members' readiness to adopt new initiatives from electronic customs processing to regulatory reform. APEC projects also target specific policy areas from enhancing small and medium enterprise competitiveness to facilitating the adoption of renewable energy technologies in the region.

The APEC Project Management Unit oversees APEC-funded projects in collaboration with working groups. Funding for projects is made possible by contributions from APEC members.

The APEC Policy Support Unit provides policy research, analysis and evaluation to assist in the implementation of APEC's agenda.

The APEC process is supported by a permanent secretariat based in Singapore.

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