Unlike the World Trade Organization, regional trading agreements or other trade bodies, the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement doesn't require any treaty obligations of any of its members. All commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis. And all decisions are reached by a consensus of the group.
The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement has 21 members that are known also as The Members Economies included The United States, Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Singapore, The Russian Federation, The Republic of the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Chile, Brunei, Darussalam, Canada, and Australia. They account for some forty percent of the world's population and about forty eight percent of the world trade and about fifty six percent of the word's GDP.
Since its creation in 1989, The Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation has worked to eliminate trade barriers and reduce tariffs across the Asia Pacific Region by building sound domestic economies and by increasing exports. The key to achieving the agreement are the Bogor Goals of free and open trade in the Asia Pacific area by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies. Free and open trade helps economies, provides more chances for international trade and investment, lowers the cost of production, and reduces the prices of goods and services, while protectionism promotes inefficiency in some areas and keeps prices high. The goal of the Asian Pacific Trade Agreement is for the efficient and safe movement of people, services, and goods within the region. And, that can be achieved by economic and technical cooperation and policy alignment.
Member economies of the Asian-Pacific Trade Agreement work together to promote economic growth to the commitment of open trade, economic reform, and investment for all countries. During the decade of APEC's existence, members generated some seventy percent of global economic growth with the APEC region outperforming many times the rest of the world.
Some of the Asian pacific Trade Agreement's accomplishments in the first decade include an export increase of 113 percent to an estimated 2.5 trillion, the growth of foreign direct investment by 210 percent, and the growth of the Gross National Product by one third overall. There was also the growth of the GDP by 61 percent in lower income APEC economies.
The consumers in Asian Pacific have benefited directly and indirectly from individual and collective actions of the Asian Pacific Trade Agreement Member Economies. Among the directly is increased job chances, poverty alleviation, better social safety, and more training programs. In more of a general sense, Member Economies have a lower cost of living because of an economically competitive region and reduced trade barriers. In addition, there is a lower price for food and clothes and goods and services. More importantly, however, economic growth lends itself to social advancement. In the first ten years of its existence Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation's existence the poverty of East Asian economies fell by one third as a result of a significant economic growth. About 195 million jobs were created.