APEC members play an active role in promoting Asia-Pacific economy
Updated 08:41, 18-Nov-2018
The 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting will be held from November 17 to 18 at Papua New Guinea's capital city of Port Moresby.
Established in 1989, APEC aims to enhance economic development in the Asia Pacific region, increase economic exchanges and strengthen the multilateral trading system of its members.
The APEC members make a significant portion of the world's GDP and trade. The region had a combined nominal GDP of 45 trillion US dollars in 2016, accounting for 60 percent of the global GDP, according to APEC official data.
Merchandise exports and imports in the APEC region accounted for 53.9 and 53.6 percent of the world's total in 2017, with the former expanded by 10.2 percent and the latter by 11.7 percent respectively. The most traded products within the region were electronics, crude petroleum oils and motor vehicles.
Almost 70 percent of APEC exports and imports were intra-regional. China, Japan and the United States were the top three intra-regional exporters in 2016, while China, China's Hong Kong and the United States were the top three intra-regional importers.
Besides traditional trade cooperation, APEC members also eye cooperation in new fields that meet the new trend of economic development. 
A case in point is the digital economy. The adoption of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap and the APEC Framework on Cross-border E-Commerce Facilitation, which was launched last year, will promote technological and policy exchanges as well as bridge digital gaps across APEC economies.
As for investment, half of the top ten foreign direct investment (FDI) recipients in 2017 were APEC economies. FDI inflows to the top APEC economies amounted to 658 billion US dollars in 2017, accounting for 43 percent of global FDI.
APEC member economies also give priorities to enhancing infrastructure cooperation as it can facilitate movement of goods and people across the region.

China remains a significant player in APEC

APEC has a close connection with China's economic development. The APEC member economies account for roughly 62 percent of China's foreign trade and over 80 percent of the FDI in China. 
In turn, China has played a crucial role in APEC given its rapid economic growth and open policy. 
China has always called for a multilateral trading regime, and APEC presents a perfect platform for all to take a share in global trade.
2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing, November 2014. /VCG Photo

2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing, November 2014. /VCG Photo

The vision to build a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which was proposed at the 2016 APEC meetings in Hanoi, Vietnam, was officially launched at the 2014 APEC meetings in Beijing with the endorsement of a roadmap. 
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to promote regional trade and infrastructure, is in line with the FTAAP and can help the final establishment of FTAAP.
The establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015 also brought business convenience for APEC members as it provides financial support to infrastructure projects in the region. 
Meanwhile, the country is actively increasing its market access to facilitate trade and exchanges with its trading partners.
The Chinese enterprises have established a long-term cooperation mechanism with enterprises from APEC economies in the fields like scientific and technological innovation and research. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in APEC members, in particular, have taken great advantages of the huge markets and open policies in recent years.
The exhibition hall of Vietnam at CIIE. /CIIE Photo

The exhibition hall of Vietnam at CIIE. /CIIE Photo

The China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai last week, for example, has fully echoed China's open and mutually beneficial policy and offered fresh opportunities for international enterprises to directly attract Chinese consumers.
The APEC members like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan all participated in the trade event by exhibiting items from their own countries and expressed their wishes to deepen business ties with China.