Since its creation in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation has been working to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community and promote
economic growth and prosperity for the region by reducing tariffs across the region, increasing exports and creating efficient domestic economies. Key to achieving the organization's vision is free and open trade in the Asia Pacific by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation also works to create environment for efficient and safe movement of people, services and goods across borders in the region through economic co-operation and policy alignment. Unlike the World Trade Organization or some other trade bodies, the APEC doesn't have any treaty obligations required of its members. All decisions made within the Organization are reached by
consensus, with commitments being undertaken and maintained on a voluntary basis. The APEC prides itself on representing the most economically dynamic region that has generated over 70% of global economic growth in its first decade.
By reducing progressively tariffs to trade, exports have expanded and APEC members have become more efficient. Thus, exports increased by 113%, foreign direct investment experienced growth by 210% overall and GDP grew by about 1/3 overall. Some benefits to the people in Asia-Pacific region include more training programs, increased job opportunities, poverty alleviation, and stronger social safety. More importantly, this economic growth has led to social advancement marked by the following improvements: poverty in East Asian economies fell by 1/3 as a result of strong economic growth; the UNDP Human Development Index for lower income economies improved by 18%; over 195 million jobs were created in APEC members countries, including some 174 million in lower income economies.
One of the major accomplishments of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is the Tourism Information Network which promotes tourism information for the Asia-Pacific region. It maintains a listing of all tourism contacts in Asia-Pacific, including contacts in the levels of government, business contacts, education and research institutions and international tourism agencies.
The Tourism Information Network collects research practice which has been published by private or government research organizations and is able to enhance the understanding of tourism as an effective tool for social economic development. In addition, the network features useful Tourism Statistics, such as World Tourism Organization statistics and Tourism Satellite Account information for APEC Member Economies. Using the Tourism Information Network, you can also find information about the APEC Tourism Charter and current APEC Tourism projects.
Also offered by the APEC Tourism Information Network is information about the organization's bilateral research projects that are currently under development or have been completed in the last five years.