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ABAC - APEC Business Advisory Council

APEC Business Advisory Council - provides business-specific advice to APEC Leaders on implementation of the Osaka Action Agenda (OAA), trade and investment liberalization and facilitation (TILF), economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH), and other priorities specifically related to the business sector. Membership is composed of up to three senior representatives of the business sector from each member economy. Established in 1995 and formally recognized by the APEC Ministers in 2005 as one of the five categories of delegates to attend APEC official meetings.

ABTC - APEC Business Travel Card

APEC Business Travel Card - allows business travelers pre-cleared, facilitated short-term entry to participating member economies. Card holders benefit from faster immigration processing on arrival via access to fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at major airports in participating economies. All 21 APEC member economies participate in the ABTC scheme, 18 namely Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico, New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand and Viet Nam are full members while Canada, the United States and Russia are transitional members.

ACBD - APEC Customs Business Dialogue

APEC Customs Business Dialogue - a yearly event organized by the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) with a view to enhancing cooperation within the business community in areas related to customs procedures.

ACTWG - Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group

Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group - promotes cooperation in areas such as extradition, legal assistance and judicial/law enforcement, especially asset forfeiture and recovery. Works towards the implementation of the United Nations’ Convention Against Corruption; the Santiago Commitment To Fight Corruption and Ensure Transparency; and The APEC Anticorruption and Transparency Course of Action endorsed by Ministers in 2004. Established in 2005 as the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Experts’ Task Force to steer APEC anti-corruption activities, the ACT was upgraded in status to a working group in March 2011.

AD - Automotive Dialogue

Automotive Dialogue - serves as a forum for APEC member economy officials and senior industry representatives to work together to map out strategies for increasing the integration and development of the automotive sector within the region. Participants discuss the current status of the automotive sector in the Asia-Pacific region, identify barriers to growth, and develop effective cooperation mechanisms for APEC economies to address and reduce these impediments. The first Automotive Dialogue was held in Bali, Indonesia, in July 1999.

ADOC - APEC Digital Opportunity Center

APEC Digital Opportunity Center - act as local information and communication technology (ICT) resource centers, providing citizens and businesses of the region with access to ICT technologies, education and training. The objective is to transform the digital divide into digital opportunities. A network of 41 APEC Digital Opportunity Centers (ADOC) operates in seven Member Economies. The aim is to contribute to the implementation of the e-APEC Strategy endorsed by APEC Leaders in 2001. Sponsored by Chinese Taipei the ADOC initiative was approved by APEC Leaders in Thailand in 2003. Participants of the ADOC scheme, include Indonesia, Chile, Philippines, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Viet Nam.

AELM - APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting

APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting – the annual meeting of the Leaders of the member economies, at which the policy agenda is set for APEC. Leaders consider proposals and recommendations from Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM), Sectoral Ministerial Meetings, APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and Joint Meetings of Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Ministers Responsible for Trade (AMM), and issue Leaders’ Statements on future development directions for the years to come. The first AELM was held in 1993 at Blake Island, United States.

AFS - APEC Food System

APEC Food System - coordinates and links activities of all APEC member economies with a view to implementing three objectives on food; development of rural infrastructure, promotion of trade in agricultural products, and application of modern technology in food production and processing. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of agricultural production and trade for the benefit of APEC member economies. Work in this area is conducted by the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) which was established in 2007. The first Ministerial Meeting on Food Security took place in 2010.

AFTA - ASEAN Free Trade Area

ASEAN Free Trade Area - a trade bloc agreement by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Seeks to increase ASEAN’s competitive edge as a production base in the world market through the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, and to attract more foreign investment to the region. The six founding members of ASEAN – Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore – have eliminated tariffs between themselves from 2003. New members (Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam) were required to sign AFTA but have a longer time frame in which to meet tariff reductions. Endorsed at the 4th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in January 1992.


Ad Hoc Steering Group on the Internet Economy

AIMP - APEC Information Management Portal

APEC Information Management Portal - an electronic tool to facilitate communication used by APEC . The AIMP consists of four components: 1) APEC Collaboration System (ACS); 2) Online Meeting System (OMS); 3) Project Database (PDB); and 4) APEC Meeting Document Database (MDDB). The AIMP helps to facilitate access to information and provides users with an online, collaborative work environment in which to share information and conduct work related to APEC.

AMM - APEC Ministerial Meeting

APEC Ministerial Meeting – a joint meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers Responsible for Trade of APEC member economies organized annually. Meeting takes place right before the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM). At this Meeting, Ministers give their assessments and evaluations of APEC cooperation in the present year, endorse recommendations on cooperation from Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM) and report to AELM for consideration and approval.

ANSSR - APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform

The APEC New Strategy for Structural Reform - was adopted by Ministers in 2010 to commit members to a second period of structural reform from 2010-2015, with each economy adopting individual plans for its structural reform priorities and supporting project funding to help with implementation. The Economic Committee (EC), Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG), Finance Ministers Process (FMP) and Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) were directly tasked with different aspects of ANSSR – with overall leadership resting with EC. 

APCN - APEC Climate Network

APEC Climate Network - promotes the exchange of information on regional climate, especially information on climate forecast, among APEC member economies in order to bring social and economic benefits to members, and mitigate negative impacts of natural calamities originated from unexpected climate and weather phenomena. Co-sponsors of the APCN initiative were Australia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia and Viet Nam. Adopted in February 1999 in Seattle, United States.

APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation - a forum for 21 Pacific-rim member economies that seeks to promote open trade and practical economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Cooperation is based on three pillars: trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation, and economic and technical cooperation. The primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the region. .Established in 1989, membership comprises Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States; and Viet Nam. APEC accounts for over 1/3 of world population, nearly 54% world GDP and 44% world trade.

APEC Engineer

Criteria and standards of the APEC engineer were developed by the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) in 1995. There is an agreement in place between a number of APEC economies for the purposes of recognising “substantial equivalence” of professional competence in engineering. APEC members can apply to become members of the agreement by demonstrating that they have in place systems which allow the competence of engineers to be assessed to the agreed international standard set by the APEC Engineer agreement.


APEC has a number of different groups working in the areas of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and economic and technical cooperation. Committees, ad-hoc groups, expert groups and working groups are known individually as a forum and collectively as fora.

APEC Geneva Caucus

An informal forum assisting the APEC Chair or his representative to coordinate view points and initiatives with other APEC representatives in Geneva. The APEC Chair or his representative may, together with interested member economies, use the APEC Geneva Caucus to establish direct relationship with the permanent representatives in Geneva to convey APEC’s perspectives or exchange views on basic issues of the WTO working agenda. Established in 1990, revived in 2003, it functions as a means for APEC representatives in Geneva to review the progress of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations and the WTO liberalization initiatives as well as to find ways for APEC to expedite the DDA negotiations and the WTO working agenda.

APEC Privacy Framework

Explores new ways of information sharing and cooperation across agencies and authorities to enable transfers of personal information across borders. The Framework reaffirms the importance of protecting confidential information in growing e-commerce and trans-boundary trade in the region, provides specific examples of privacy situations and focuses its attention on practical and consistent information privacy protection within this context. Approved in November 2004 in Santiago, Chile.

APEC Secretariat

The main mechanism for supporting the APEC process, providing technical assistance, consultation and coordination of activities of APEC fora, while at the same time administering databases, information and communication, and outreach activities. The Secretariat plays a central role in the management of APEC projects and APEC’s annual budget. Its structure consists of: an Executive Director from a member economy with a fixed-term of three years; program directors seconded from member economies; and support staff. The decision to establish the APEC Secretariat with its office based in Singapore was adopted in 1992 at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

APEC Strategy on Response to and Preparedness for Emergency

The goal is to play a constructive role in enabling the region to better prepare for future disasters of all kinds and address long-term commercial recovery in affected sectors. It leverages APEC’s strengths of multi-sectoral participation, private-sector partners, broad regional reach, and high-level political commitment to meet the needs of the region. Efforts are aimed at complementing, not duplicating, other international efforts. Adopted at the 1st Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1) in March 2005 after a tsunami took place in the Indian Ocean in December 2004. Original mechanism for delivering the strategy was a Virtual Task Force for Emergency (2005) followed by the Task Force on Emergency Preparedness (TFEP) which was upgraded to the Emergency Preparedness Working group (EPWG) in 2010.

APERC - Asia Pacific Energy Research Center

Asia Pacific Energy Research Center - the task is to raise public awareness in member economies on issues related to the supply and demand of energy in the region and the world over, development of energy infrastructure and reform of regulations and policies related to energy. The goal is to ensure energy security, economic growth and environmental protection. Founded in 1996 in Tokyo APERC is also a member of the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ).

API - Advance Passenger Information

Advance Passenger Information – a mechanism which provides information on passengers to authorities at the destination before they arrive at the airport. This mechanism facilitates the travel of the passengers and strengthens security in the region. API is an “APEC Pathfinder Initiative” adopted by AELM in Mexico in October 2002.

APP - Advance Passenger Processing

Advance Passenger Processing - a system using Advance Passenger Information (API) for examining immigration details via the Internet before the passengers arrive at the airports. Authorities concerned can verify passengers’ biometric data even before they board airplanes in order to prevent illegal passengers from boarding.

ARF - ASEAN Regional Forum

ASEAN Regional Forum - aim is to promote constructive dialogue and consultation on security and political issues, confidence-building and development of preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region. At present, ARF has 26 members comprising the 10 ASEAN countries, plus Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, European Union, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Russia, Republic of Korea, United States and East Timor. Established in 1994.

ASC - APEC Study Centers

APEC Study Centers - undertake research, disseminate information and facilitate discussion on APEC-related issues. There are now ASCs in 20 member economies, comprising some 100 universities, research centers and centers of academic excellence. Financial support is provided by both public and private funds and research topics are usually chosen by individual study centers.
The Study Centers form the APEC Study Centers Consortium (ASCC).

ASCC - APEC Study Centers Consortium

APEC Study Centers Consortium – a network of APEC Study Centers comprising universities and research institutions in APEC member economies was established in 1993. The network serves to promote interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research from an independent perspective by facilitating academic exchange and providing opportunities for mutually beneficial training.

ASEAN - Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Association of Southeast Asian Nations - the aims and purposes are to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development; to strengthen cooperation and mutual assistance; and to ensure peace and stability in the region (Bangkok Declaration). ASEAN comprises 10 countries in Southeast Asia, including the five founding members, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, and five others: Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. ASEAN is one of three regional organizations, along with Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) with official observer status at APEC. Established on 8 August 1967.

ASF - APEC Support Fund

APEC Support Fund - serves as a flexible funding mechanism to complement Operational and TILF Special Accounts for meeting capacity building needs for APEC developing economies in APEC’s agreed high priority sectors for economic and technical cooperation. Contributions are in the form of co-financing or in-kind. The ASF is an open and flexible financial structure.Established in 2005 as an initiative of Australia.

ATCWG - Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group

Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group - aims to improve economic development and social welfare in the APEC region by promoting agricultural technical cooperation between APEC member economies. Works to enhance the capacity of agriculture and its related industries; to propose APEC funded projects and to share information and experiences in the areas of agriculture, biotechnology, animal and biogenetic resource management. Established in 1996.

Behind-the-Border Barriers

Refers to a variety of non-tariff barriers that operate inside countries rather than at the border, but that nonetheless can restrict trade. Examples include domestic rules, regulations and policies of an economy, and the institutions that implement those rules, regulations and policies.

Beijing Initiative on APEC Human Capacity Building

This initiative originated from the commitment made in 2000 by APEC Leaders in Brunei, about trebling the number of Internet users by 2005 and making the Internet accessible to all people in the region by 2010. The Beijing Initiative emphasizes human capacity building as a strategy to adapt to the new economy and its rapid technological changes, while ensuring that people benefit from APEC’s goals.

Best Practices

Methods or techniques that have consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that are used as a benchmark. The term is often used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. In the context of APEC it is used to indicate the use of different methods applied by member economies when addressing a particular issue or situation. The purpose is to share experiences that economies, individuals, organizations, institutions have attained in the application of those methods. Thus weak factors are eliminated while successful methods are disseminated and expedited as “best practices”.

BMC - Budget and Management Committee

Budget and Management Committee - advises SOM on issues concerning budget, administration and project management. BMC also monitors and evaluates project management activities of Committees and Working Groups and submits reports on the efficiency of those projects to SOM. It is one of SOM’s four committees (the other three are Committee on Trade and Investment – CTI, Economic Committee – EC, Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation – SCE). Pre 1999 BMC was known as the Budget and Administrative Committee (BAC).

Bogor Goals

APEC goals for trade and investment liberalization which were defined at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994. According to Bogor Goals, APEC is to achieve free and open trade and investment no later than 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies. The Bogor Goals are a voluntary commitment, based on good faith and a pledge of best endeavour.

Brunei Goals

Under the TELWG purview, this was defined at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Brunei in 2000. Here APEC was committed to implement a policy framework which allowed people in urban areas, township and rural areas to access Internet-based information and services by 2010. The first step was to treble the number of Internet users in the APEC region by 2005. As of 2009 the Brunei Goals have been met.

Busan Roadmap

Developed to speed up the process of achieving The Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment no later than 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies. Consists of six main elements: 1) Support for the multilateral trading system; 2) Strengthening collective and individual action plans of member economies; 3) Promotion of high-quality regional trade agreements and free trade agreements; 4) Busan Business Agenda; 5) A strategic approach to capacity building; and 6) The Pathfinder Approach. Approved by Leaders in Busan, Korea in 2005.

CAIRNS Initiative

Comprehensive Action Initiative Recognizing the Need for Strengthening the APEC Energy Security Initiative - the objectives are to enhance data transparency, improve energy emergency responses, encourage energy investment, use energy efficiently, develop renewable and alternative energy, and promote energy for sustainable development, famine elimination and poverty alleviation. The initiative was approved by Ministers at the AMM 2004 with its complete name “Comprehensive Action Initiative Recognizing the Need for Strengthening the APEC Energy Security Initiative – energy security, sustainable development and common prosperity”.

CAP - Collective Action Plan

Collective Action Plan - identifies common activities of all APEC economies, covers 15 issue areas outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda and is similar to the Individual Action Plan (IAP) of each member economy. The issue areas include: tariffs, non-tariff measures, services, investment, standards and conformance, customs procedures, intellectual property, competition policy, government procurement, deregulation/regulatory review, rules of origin, dispute mediation, mobility of business people, implementation of the Uruguay Round outcomes, and information gathering and analysis. Developed in 1996 in Manila, Philippines under the framework of the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA).

Capacity Building

A subject of the APEC Economic and Technical Cooperation (ECOTECH) program which aims to help APEC’s developing member economies achieve APEC’s goals of the trade and investment liberalization.

CBN - Capacity Building Network

Capacity Building Network - promotes human capacity building and the strengthening of markets through improved productive processes, enterprise productivity and adaptability, management and technical skill development, and corporate governance in the public, private and voluntary sectors of APEC member economies. One of the three sub-groups of the Human Resources Development Working Group.

CBPR - Cross-Border Privacy Rules System

This voluntary, certification-based system promotes a consistent baseline set of data privacy practices for companies doing business in participating APEC economies. APEC Economic Leaders endorsed the system when they met in Honolulu in November 2011.

CDSG - Chemical Dialogue Steering Group

Chemical Dialogue Steering Group - responsible for supporting activities of the Chemical Dialogue of APEC. Conducted its first meeting in August 2001 in Dalian, China

CEO Summit

Provides opportunities for business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to meet with APEC Economic Leaders, economists, policy makers and businesses to discuss relevant economic and trade issues. First held in 1996 in the Philippines on the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The CEO Summit is an important event which takes place annually in the AELM Week.

CERTs - Computer Emergency Response Teams

Computer Emergency Response Teams - developed as an early warning defense system against network breakdowns and cyber attacks in the region. They are responsible for guiding and consulting APEC members in dealing with the breakdown of electronic communications systems.

Chemical Dialogue

The objective is to enhance mutual understanding between governments and the private sector in the policy-making process and to promote the competitive capability of the chemical industry. It is one of the initiatives under the framework of the Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization (EVSL) of APEC. First dialogue held in Mexico in 2002.

CMI - Chiang Mai Initiative

Chiang Mai Initiative - established in order to expand the current ASEAN Swap Agreements (ASA) and build up a Bilateral Swap Agreement (BSA) network and to strengthen cooperative financing arrangements among ASEAN+3 countries. Approved by ASEAN+3 countries (comprising 10 ASEAN countries, + China, Japan and Korea) in May 2000 In February 2009, ASEAN+3 agreed to a fund worth $120 billion.

COA - APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency

APEC Course of Action on Fighting Corruption and Ensuring Transparency - includes: taking all appropriate steps towards ratification of, or accession to, and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC); strengthening measures to effectively prevent and fight corruption and ensure transparency; deny safe haven to officials and individuals guilty of public corruption; fighting both public and private sector corruption; enhance public-private partnerships; and implement concrete actions outlined in the Declaration “From Santiago to Seoul”. Endorsed at the 2004 AELM in Chile.

Competition Policy

The objective of competition policy is to ensure that competition in the market is not restricted in a way that might cause damages to society. The endorsement and implementation of competition policy and regulations that promote competition help improve the efficiency, growth and stability of an economy. The implementation of competition policy and deregulation provides markets with a framework that encourages market discipline, eliminates distortions and promotes economic efficiency.

APEC has endorsed the following principles on competition policy: a) no discrimination between or among economic entities in like circumstances; b) ensuring comprehensiveness; c) transparency in policies and rules, and their implementation (1999 APEC Principles to Enhance Competition Policy and Regulatory Reform).


One of the most important operating principles of APEC cooperation that was defined clearly in the Seoul Declaration (1991). It is based on the “commitment to open dialogue and consensus-building, with equal respect for the views of all participants”. Unlike the WTO/GATT, decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus. All meetings, from APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting to Minister-level Meeting or Official-level Meeting, are informal and undertaken on a voluntary basis. As a result, members are not involved in treaty obligations. All decisions made by Economic Leaders and Ministers are outlined in the Declaration that reflects the common determination of all members.


A person who leads a group (or subgroup) and who works directly under the Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI), Under the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE) and Economic Committee sub fora are led by a Chair or Lead Shepherd.

Counter-Terrorism Statement

Leaders at the 9th AELM (Shanghai, November 2001) issued the Statement on Counter Terrorism to express the indignation of economies in the region over the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 in the United States. It outlined the need to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism through enhancing appropriate financial measures, strengthening energy security, security of air and maritime transportation, protecting critical industrial sectors, developing a global integrated electronic customs network, building electronic movement records systems, and strengthening capacity building and economic and technical cooperation.

CPLG - Competition Policy and Law Group

The Competition Policy and Law Group - aims to enhance the region’s competitive environment and works to develop an understanding of regional competition laws and policies, to examine the impact on trade and investment flows, and to identify areas for technical cooperation among member economies. Formerly known as Competition Policy and Deregulation Group it was renamed in 2008 to the Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) and is now under the guidance of the Economic Committee (EC).

CSI - Container Security Initiative

Container Security Initiative –an initiative that protects the main method of global trade — containerized shipping — from being exploited or disrupted by terrorists. It is designed to safeguard global marine trade while enabling legitimate cargo containers to move faster and more efficiently. With CSI, shipping containers are identified and examined at all foreign ports before entering the US. There are now 50 ports in North America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin and Central America operating in the CSI system. This is an initiative of the United States established in January 2002 after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

CSOM - Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting

Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting - the final meeting of the Senior Officials’ Meetings held every year on the threshold of APEC Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and APEC Leaders’ Meeting. It concludes all activities undertaken during the year, resolves all remaining issues, and summarizes anticipated attainable results and fora recommendations to submit to the APEC Ministers’ Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility - generally refers to the process of integrating social values and mission within business decision-making, so as to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes towards business, the environment and the community at large.

CTAPs - Counter-Terrorism Action Plans

Counter-Terrorism Action Plans - a list of counter-terrorism measures undertaken by each member economy to achieve the goals set out in the Secure Trade in the APEC Region (STAR) Initiative. These include securing cargo, protecting people in transit, protecting ships engaged in international voyages and international aviation; combating threats to security; measures to halt the financing of terrorism; and promoting cyber-security. The plan was developed based on APEC Leaders’ Statement on Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Growth in 2002 and other security related activities in APEC fora.

CTI - Committee on Trade and Investment

Committee on Trade and Investment - mandated to act as a coordinator of APEC in trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, CTI oversees eight sub-groups and three industry dialogues in implementing cooperative actions outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda (OAA). Established in 1993 based on the Declaration on an APEC Trade and Investment Framework aimed at strengthening economic activities and promoting the flow of goods and services between APEC member economies.

CTWG - Counter-Terrorism Working Group

Counter-Terrorism Working Group - assists member economies in judging and assessing counter-terrorism requirements, coordinating capacity building and technical assistance activities, cooperating with international and regional organizations as well as strengthening cooperation among APEC fora in counter-terrorism issues. Established in February 2003.

DDA - Doha Development Agenda

The Doha Round or the Doha Development Agenda is the latest round of trade negotiations among WTO membership. The work program covers about 20 areas and a basic objective to improve the trading prospects of developing countries. The DDA was launched in November 2001 at the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar. However, negotiations have broken down and a conclusion of elements of the Doha Round is unlikely in the near future. APEC is committed to the multilateral trading system and is determinded to work to progress the Doha Round to an ultimate conclusion.

DESG – Digital Economy Steering Group

The Digital Economy Steering Group facilitates the development of the internet and digital economy, including e-commerce and digital trade.

Digital Economy

An economy that develops based on the application of information technology. At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Mexico, November 2002, Leaders announced the “Statement to Implement APEC Policies on Trade and the Digital Economy”.

DLO - Delegation Liaison Officer

Delegation Liaison Officer - the APEC host economy often arranges for delegation liaison officers to be the main communicators between the APEC host and other delegations. Liaison officers’ task is to attend to the Delegation leader while providing the delegation with information relating to delegation registration, program briefings and other materials, and informing delegation members about administrative formalities and protocols.

e-APEC Strategy

Consists of three areas of focus - creation of an environment for strengthening market structure and institutions; creation of an environment for infrastructure investment and technology development; and the enhancement of human capacity building and entrepreneurship development. Endorsed by Leaders at the 13th AELM in Shanghai, November 2001.

EC - Economic Committee

Economic Committee - works to remove structural and regulatory obstacles that inhibit cross-border trade and investment that are created by behind-the-borders barriers. Promotes structural reform within APEC which consists of improvements made to institutional frameworks, regulations and government policies so that the efficient functioning of markets is supported, and behind-the-border barriers are reduced. Established in 1994, the EC works in close coordination with other relevant APEC fora including the Competition Policy and Law Group (CPLG) and the Finance Ministers' Process (FMP).

ECO - Electronic Certificate of Origin

Electronic Certificate of Origin - an electronic issuance of a good’s certificate of origin, whereby information is stored electronically and in a form which can be identified. The objective of this project is to reduce transaction costs, thus contributing to the building of an APEC paperless trading environment by 2020. This project is within the framework of the APEC Pathfinder Initiative, endorsed by APEC Leaders in October 2002 in Los Cabos, Mexico, and undertaken by the ECSG.


The word 'economy' is used to describe an APEC member because the APEC cooperative process is predominantly concerned with trade and economic issues, with members engaging with one another as economic entities rather than sovereign nations. Thus this terminology addresses the status of members that are not universally recognized as states such as Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, China.

ECOTECH - Economic and Technical Cooperation

Economic and technical cooperation - one of the three cooperative pillars of APEC, ECOTECH involves capacity building and information sharing activities. The objective is to help members, particularly developing economies, benefit from the liberalization process, while narrowing the gap among the diverse economies of the APEC region. Current ECOTECH medium-term priorities include: regional economic integration; addressing the social dimension of globalisation (inclusive growth); safeguarding the quality of life through sustainable growth; structural reform; and human security.

ECSG - E-Commerce Steering Group

E-Commerce Steering Group - promotes and enhances the use of e-commerce through the establishment of a policy environment in which rules and regulations are consistent, transparent and predictable. The ECSG was aligned to the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) in 2007 to enhance the coordinating capacity of the ECSG by ensuring a stronger focus on trade and investment issues. Established in February 1999, with responsibility for coordinating APEC e-commerce activities based on the principles set out in the 1998 APEC Blueprint for Action on Electronic Commerce.

ED - Executive Director

The Executive Director is the head of the APEC Secretariat. Effective 2010, the Executive Director is selected from an APEC member economy, and serves a fixed-term of three years.

EDNET - Education Network

Education Network - objective is to develop strong and dynamic education systems across APEC economies, promote education for people and strengthen the role of education for the development of the economy, individuals and society. Established as the APEC Education Forum in August 1992, under the Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG). In 2000, HRDWG revised the action plan of the APEC Education Forum and established EDNET.

Education Ministerial Meeting

Ministers discuss issues such as strengthening cooperation, building a learning society in the 21st century, reforming the educational management system, consolidating the teaching systems, etc. There have been four meetings to date – the inaugural 1992 meeting, and subsequent sessions in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

EEMRA - Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mutual Recognition Arrangement

The objective of the EEMRA is to enable mutual recognition of conformity assessment with a view to facilitating trade in regulated electrical and electronic equipment between member economies.

EEMRA - Mutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Mutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment of Electrical and Electronic Equipment - comprises three parts: 1) Information Exchange; 2) Test Report; and 3) Certificate. To date, 16 members have exchanged information on conformity assessment of electric and electronic equipment, six members joined the mutual recognition of test report components, and four members joined the mutual recognition of certification component. It is an important component of the Action Plan of the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC).

EGILAT - APEC Experts Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade

The goal of the Experts Group is to enhance the efforts of member economies to take concrete steps to combat illegal logging and associated trade, promote trade in legally harvested forest products, and support capacity building activities. The Experts Group was formally established by SOMs in San Francisco, California in September 2011.

e-IAP - Electronic Individual Action Plan

Electronic Individual Action Plan -Provides information on the implementation of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation of each APEC member economy via the Internet. Through e-IAPs, information on IAPs becomes transparent, concrete, comprehensive, easily referred to, easily assessed, and particularly useful to businesses. To access each member’s e-IAP, users can go to:

Electronic Commerce

A term used to indicate the implementation of trading transactions based on electronic devices, particularly the Internet and WWW (World Wide Web – webpages or website). Examples include the display of product images and business information on the website, or contact with customers through email. Electronic commerce has become a priority in international organizations such as APEC, OECD, and WTO. In May 1998, WTO endorsed the Declaration on Global Electronic Commerce, which called for a moratorium on the imposition of customs duties on electronic transactions until the WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle in 1999. In June 2000, APEC also agreed to cease charging customs duties on electronic transactions.

EMM - Energy Ministers' Meeting

Energy Ministers’ Meeting - provides policy orientation for the Energy Working Group (EWG) to ensure that the EWG operates in accordance with the goals set out by APEC Leaders. Energy Ministers’ Meeting was first held in 1996 in Sydney, Australia, with the most recent meeting occurring in 2010.

Environmental Goods and Services

Environmental goods and services (EGS) aims to solve, limit or prevent environmental problems.

EODB Action Plan - Ease of Doing Business Action Plan

Ease of Doing Business Action Plan - set an APEC-wide aspirational target to make it 25 percent cheaper, faster and easier to do business within APEC economies by 2015, with an interim target of a 5 percent improvement by 2011. Led by ‘champion economies’, a number of capacity building programmes have been carried out focusing on the necessary regulatory reforms in the five priority areas, ie starting a business, getting credit, enforcing contract. Trading across borders and dealing with construction permits. A second phase of EoDB for 2016-2018 is now underway with a 10 percent target for improvement. 

EPWG - Emergency Preparedness Working Group

Emergency Preparedness Working Group - plays a constructive role in enabling the region to better prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters by helping to reduce the risk of disasters and building business and community resilience. EPWG was first established as APEC's Task Force for Emergency Preparedness (TFEP) by APEC Senior Officials in 2005. Originally called the Virtual Task Force for Emergency Preparedness, the TFEP carried out much of its work via electronic communications. The Task Force was mandated to coordinate and facilitate emergency and disaster preparedness within APEC. Recognizing the importance of enhancing human security and reducing the threat of disruptions to business and trade in the Asia-Pacific region of its work, in 2010 the TFEP was upgraded in status to a working group.

ESI - Energy Security Initiative

Energy Security Initiative - to prepare the region for energy supply disruptions and their impact on the APEC economic development. This initiative includes short-term measures to cope with the temporary slowdown in energy supply, and long-term policy measures to overcome difficulties in energy supply in the region. The Energy Working Group (EWG) is responsible for implementing this initiative. Endorsed in October 2001.

e-SPS - Electronic Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Electronic Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures - sanitary certification whereby information is stored electronically. This is an initiative within the framework of the APEC Pathfinder Initiative undertaken by the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG). The objective is to reduce transaction costs so as to achieve the goal of building an APEC paperless trading environment by 2020.

EVSL - Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization

Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization - based on the principle of voluntarism and the establishment of mutually beneficial packages. In 1997, APEC discussed implementing the Early Voluntary Sectoral Liberalization (EVSL) in 15 potential areas to bring out positive impacts on trade, investment and economic growth in the individual APEC members as well as in the region. However, EVSL failed to be realized because of major conflicts between the participants. The East Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 and domestic resistance and lobbying both decelerated trade liberalization in the affected economies. At the present, two areas set out in EVSL, Chemicals and Automotive are still being promoted under the framework of the APEC Industrial Dialogues.

EWG - Energy Working Group

Energy Working Group - seeks to maximize the energy sector's contribution to the region's economic and social well-being, while mitigating the environmental effects of energy supply and use. Work program consists of: discussions on energy plans and policies, sharing of information on energy supply and examining the impacts of regional energy policies, and dealing with evolving energy problems. Launched in 1990, the EWG is assisted in its work by four Expert Groups (Expert Group on Clean Fossil Energy, Expert Group on Efficiency & Conservation, Expert Group on Energy Data & Analysis, Expert Group on New & Renewable Energy Technologies) and a Task Force on Low Carbon Model Towns and a Task Force on Energy Resiliency.

Finance Deputies' Meeting

A meeting of Finance Deputies and Deputy Governors of Central Banks from APEC economies in preparation for the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM). It is also known as the Finance and Central Bank Deputies’ Meeting.

FMM - Finance Ministers' Meeting

Finance Ministers’ Meeting - Ministers discuss fundamental economic challenges in the Asia-Pacific region such as sustainable development with low inflation, financial investment and infrastructure development, and promoting capital market development. Held for the first time in Honolulu, Hawaii in March 1994, and has been held annually since.

FMP - Finance Ministers' Process

Finance Ministers’ Process - member economies exchange their views and information on the regional financial situation so as to promote cooperative plans for liberalization and development in the financial area. FMP involves events such as the Finance Ministers’ Meeting, Finance Deputies’ Meeting, and the Senior Financial Officials’ Meeting (SFOM).

Food Security

Refers to the availability of sufficient and affordable supplies of food needed for the region’s population to enjoy productive lives. APEC members are working to foster the development and growth of the agricultural sector, increase food and agriculture trade, and promote the development and adoption of new technologies.

FOTC - Friends of the Chair

The Friends of the Chair – used by APEC groups to advance work in their specific areas (e.g. reform, trade facilitations). Membership consists of economies interested in assisting the respective group Chair in the study.

FSCF - Food Safety Cooperation Forum

Food Safety Cooperation Forum – works to build robust food safety systems so as to accelerate progress towards harmonization of food standards with international standards to improve public health and facilitate trade. Reporting to the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance the goal is to implement the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Initiative agreed to in 2006, and to identify, prioritize and coordinate capacity-building activities. Established in 2007.

FTA - Free Trade Agreement

Free Trade Agreement – a form of international economic integration, in which those parties who sign the agreement agree to abolish tariffs and other trade barriers on most, if not all of each other’s products, services, investment and intellectual properties. A Free Trade Area is the result of a Free Trade Agreement between two or more economies.

FTAAP - Free Trade Area of the Asia–Pacific

Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific – consideration being given to the prospects and options of a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific which would include all APEC members. The APEC Business Advisory Council has promoted the theory that a free trade area has the best chance of bringing together the member economies thereby ensuring stable economic growth, and has lobbied for the creation of a high-level task force to study and develop a plan for a free trade area.

G-20 - Group of Twenty

Group of Twenty - brings together systemically important industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. Established in 1999 and consists of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 19 of the world's largest national economies, plus the European Union (EU).

G-8 - Group of Eight

Group of Eight – G7 + Russia, an annual summit meeting of head of governments from seven industrialized countries in the world (G7) and Russia. Consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union is represented in the G8, but cannot host or chair.

GATS - General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO)

General Agreement on Trade in Services (WTO) - main objective is to create a legal framework for liberalization in trade in services. Services were included in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations which led to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Since January 2000, they have become the subject of multilateral trade negotiations.

GATT - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - superseded as an international organization by the WTO. An updated General Agreement is now the WTO agreement governing trade in goods. GATT 1947: The official legal term for the old (pre-1994) version of the GATT. GATT 1994: The official legal term for the new version of the General Agreement, incorporated into the WTO, and including GATT 1947.

GDLN - Global Development Learning Network

Global Development Learning Network of the World Bank – a remote educational network with branches in over 60 countries that applies advanced information and communications technologies (videos, high speed internet, etc) in their teaching for learners located very far from each other in terms of geographical and temporal distance. APEC has enhanced its cooperation with the World Bank in the development of GDLN, including a pilot project on technology for rural distance learning.

GFPN - Gender Focal Point Network

The Gender Focal Point Network - provided policy advice on gender issues to APEC fora and was a mechanism to integrate gender considerations into APEC activities. The network was comprised of focal points that represented economies and fora. Advisory bodies were ABAC and the Women Leader's Network (WLN). In May 2011 the GDLN along with the Women Leadership Network were subsumed into the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE).

GHS - Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals - objective is to build a harmonized system to address the labeling and classification of toxic chemicals. International organizations taking part in coordinating the work of GHS are the International Labour Organization (ILO), Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (UNSCETDG). GHS has been in place since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Over the years APEC’s Chemical Dialogue has conducted numerous workshops to provide economies with information on the GHS and to build capacity to facilitate its adoption.

GHTF - Global Harmonization Task Force

Global Harmonization Task Force - main activity is publishing and disseminating harmonized guidance documents on basic regulatory practices. Its’ purpose is to reinforce the conformity of standards and regulations on safety, effectiveness/performance, and quality of medical devices. APEC has been cooperating with GHTF, which includes the organization of scientific seminars on Harmonization on Medical Device Regulations. Founded in 1992 by governments and industry representatives of Australia, Canada, Japan, European Union, and the United States.

GOFD - Group of Friends on Disability

APEC aims to achieve disability-inclusive developments across all its member economies and across all sectors through a streamlined and effective mechanism to advance the participation of persons with disabilities in the economy. APEC GOFD serves as a resource and voice within APEC and other relevant bodies for pragmatic cooperation among APEC economies and across APEC working groups.

GOS - Group on Services

Group on Services - works on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation issues related to trade in services, while also coordinating APEC’s activities in this area.

GPA – General Project Account

GPA – General Project Account. This account was previously called the Operational Account, or OA. GPA funding is sourced from mandatory annual APEC membership contributions. There are no restrictions on funding from the GPA. It can support all types of APEC projects. All member economies may apply for funding under GPA. Projects may be fully funded under GPA, as there are no self-funding requirements for GPA-funded projects.

GPEG - Government Procurement Experts' Group

Government Procurement Experts’ Group - focuses on maintaining the process of voluntary review and reporting of member economies on implementing government procurement frameworks based on GPEG Non-Binding Principles (NBPs) on government procurements. Aim is to increase transparency in procurement markets in accordance with the goals of the Bogor Declaration. Established in 1995, this forum was disbanded in 2010.

Grandfather Clause

A clause in GATT which allowed participants to continue maintaining their domestic legislation that had been in effect before agreements were signed, although the legislation might have been inconsistent with certain clauses in these agreements. Only charter members of GATT had the right to employ this clause. Despite that, members were encouraged to adjust their legal systems to meet the clauses of GATT as soon as possible. The WTO does not recognize the Grandfather Clause, and all participants are obliged to comply with new legislation.

GSP - Generalized System of Preferences

Generalized System of Preferences - a program of preferences on tariffs that developed countries grant developing countries, whereby developing countries are allowed to export some specific industrial and semi-industrial products into developed countries with a much lower level of tariffs than those imposed on other developed countries.


Includes non-APEC economies, relevant international and regional agencies and organizations, participants from the private sector and individuals that are not part of the delegation from member economies, and organizations, research institutes, or experts that are not part of APEC member economy delegation. Guest invitations to APEC meetings must be made with the consensus of all APEC member economies.

Health Ministerial Meeting

First held in Bangkok, Thailand 2003 to discuss common actions to prevent the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), improve preventive means towards similar infectious diseases as well as newly emerging threats and challenges, while recovering community trust in the Asia-Pacific region. A second meeting was held in Sydney, Australia, in June 2007.

HLPD - High Level Policy Dialogue

HLPD - High Level Policy Dialogue

HLPDAB - High-Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology

High-Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology - discusses various issues on agricultural biotechnology based on proposals from the private sector. HLPDAB was held for the first time in 2002, and takes place annually under the framework of SOM.

HRDWG - Human Resources Development Working Group

Human Resources Development Working Group - priorities include quality basic education; improved labour market information and analysis; enhancing skills in key sectors; lifelong learning; improved curricula, teaching methods and instructional materials; mobility; and enhanced quality, productivity, efficiency of the labour force. Human resources development is one of the priorities of the Economic and Technical Cooperation program, and the HRDWG has a special role in furthering the issue. Founded in 1990.

HS - Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System

Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System - includes general rules, compulsory interpretation, and the list of product categories (4-digit) and product classification (6-digit) arranged in a logical structure in accordance with their names, descriptions, and product codes to which all members must conform. Codes are updated and revised on a regular basis. The Coding System was identified in the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) on 14 June 1983 in Bruxelles, Belgium, and came into effect January 1988.

HTF - Health Task Force

Health Task Force - responsible for implementing health-related activities and to address health-related threats to economies, trade and security in the region, focusing mainly on emerging infectious diseases including naturally occurring and manmade diseases. Established by SOM in October 2003 the HTF was transformed in 2007 to the Health Working Group (HWG). The HWG had its first meeting in Lima, Peru, in 2008.

HWG - Health Working Group


IAP - Individual Action Plan

Individual Action Plan - an action plan developed and implemented by each APEC member economy to outline activities related to realizing Bogor goals of free and open trade and investment in the region. Each IAP contains 15 chapters on different trade-related issues such as tariffs and non-tariff barriers that can restrict trade or make it more expensive (such as quotas, subsidies, minimum import prices, quarantine measures and technical barriers). There are also chapters on services and investment or arrangements that impact on investment. Since 2001, members have been using e-IAP to make IAPs more transparent, accessible, easily assessed and referred to. Starting 2012, economies will submit their IAPs every two years in 2012, 2014, and 2018; in 2016 and 2020, economies will respectively undertake a second term review and a final assessment.

IAP Peer Review

In the review process, the economy under review responds to questions submitted by experts and other economies. Updated information is then supplemented with information from the economy's earlier IAPs and from reports issued by the WTO, as well as studies published by academics on the economy under review. The review is conducted by APEC’s independent experts based on information compiled in a member economy’s most recent IAP. IAP Peer Reviews work on voluntary and non-binding principles. Two rounds of Peer Reviews for all member economies were completed in 2009.. In 2011, Ministers endorsed a new set of guidelines to give direction to the process of reviewing APEC economies’ progress towards achieving the Bogor Goals by 2020. In 2010, the assessment of five APEC industrialized economies(Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the United States) as well as eight volunteer developing economies (Chile; Hong Kong, China; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; Peru; Singapore and Chinese Taipei) in 2010 revealed that while significant progress were achieved by the 13 economies, more work remained to be done.

IEG - Investment Experts' Group

Investment Experts’ Group - created in 1994 to develop a set of Non-Binding Investment Principles (NBIP). In 1995, IEG was re-established to assist the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) of APEC in developing the Osaka Action Agenda and promote the implementation of Bogor goals of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The IEG comprises experts on investment and officials responsible for investment policies in all APEC member economies, and it creates opportunities for the private and public sectors to exchange views on investment issues.

IFIs - International Financial Institutions

International Financial Institutions - comprised of organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Bank for International Settlements (BIS). In 2001, APEC Leaders endorsed bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperative programs with international financial institutions (IFIs) in order to leverage upon APEC’s limited financial resources, and to assist with economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) programs. APEC and IFIs have held roundtables on ECOTECH, the first of which was in Phuket, Thailand in 2003.

Infectious Disease Initiative

Infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, SARS, have seriously affected regional trade, created great economic loss, and costly prevention and control measures. At AELM 2001 in Shanghai, China, APEC Leaders endorsed a strategy, entitled “Infectious Diseases in the Asia-Pacific region: A Reason to Act and Acting with Reason” to promote cooperation in infectious disease prevention. The Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG) has developed a Report on Infectious Diseases in the region since 2001. ISTWG now collaborates with the Health Working Group in fighting emerging infectious diseases.

Inter-sessional discussion

Instead of physical meetings, members of APEC fora and working groups may conduct Inter-sessional discussions. This occurs in those instances when a decision is not approved in the formal meeting. The method for discussion can be conducted by exchanging views, documents (written letters or electronic mail), using video-conferencing, or through personal or group contacts.

Investment Mart

Serves as a vehicle to promote investment, especially long-term investment contracts. The purpose is for investors to meet and discuss projects and investment opportunities, have access to information on policies and investment laws of governments in the region. Held for the first time in Korea in 1999, there have been five investment marts organized by APEC: Korea 1999, China 2001, Russia 2002, Thailand 2003 and Viet Nam 2006.

IP Toolkit

A guidance tool used for the implementation of intellectual property rights by providing a set of useful information on this issue. The IP Toolkit comprises information, instructional modules, links, and glossary terms that answer all IP questions asked by businesses. Endorsed in 2003 by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade.

IPEG - Intellectual Property Rights Experts' Group

Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group - task is to support the development of a strong and effective intellectual property rights system. Established in 1996 in the form of an Intellectual Property Rights Get Together (IPR-GT) to coordinate and undertake the work related to intellectual property rights in the Osaka Action Agenda (OAA). It was reconstituted in August 1997 to form a sub-group with concrete responsibility and renamed as the Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group (IPEG.)

IPR - Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Rights - rights of persons or companies to exclusively use their/its own ideas, plans and other intangible assets without competition for a defined period of time. Intellectual property rights are divided into two main areas: 1) Copyright and rights related to copyright, whereby authors of literary and artistic works are protected against illegal publishing and reproduction; and 2) Industrial property (trademarks, geographical indications, inventions, industrial designs, trade secrets, etc.).

IPR Service Center

Engaged in the protection of various kinds of IP rights including patent rights, design rights, trademark rights, breeder's rights, and copyrights and provide information for corporations and private citizens. Established in June 2003 by APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization

International Organization for Standardization – a non-governmental organization which includes members of national standard institutions of 161 countries (these institutions are either formed by governments or private industrial associations). Established in February 1946 in London with the aim to promote international cooperation and unify industrial standards.

ISOM - Informal Senior Officials' Meeting

Informal Senior Officials’ Meeting - often held before the annual 1st Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM 1), at which the APEC hosting economy consults other members on issues related to the hosting of the APEC Year; for example, themes, sub-themes and priorities of the APEC Year.

ISP - Information Strategic Planning

Information Strategic Planning – a project proposed by Korea and approved by the BMC in 2002. The objective is to promote the implementation of automating of intellectual property rights on the basis of providing a technical cooperative program on information technology to members.

ISPS Code - International Ship and Port Facility Security Code

International Ship and Port Facility Security Code - involves comprehensive principles to strengthen maritime security and prevent and suppress acts of terrorism against shipping. ISPS is implemented based on special measures stated in Chapter XI – 2 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1997. There are 148 governments participating in the SOLAS Convention. ISPS entered into force in July 2004. APEC members have implemented this set of laws as an urgent task to ensure safety for ship loading and unloading at APEC ports.

ISTWG - Industrial Science and Technology Working Group

Industrial Science and Technology Working Group - aims to fulfill the APEC vision for the 21st century to be a dynamic and prosperous region built on the development and application of industrial science and technology that improves the quality of life, while safeguarding the natural environment and achieving sustainable development. Priorities include enhanced economic growth, trade and investment opportunities in harmony with sustainable development; human resource capacity building; enhanced international science and technology networks; and an improved level of connection between research and innovation, involving and encouraging the potential of SMEs. ISTWG evolved from the Working Group on Expansion of Investment and Technology Transfer, which was formed at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Singapore in 1990.

ITI - Information Technology Industry Council

Information Technology Industry Council - an elite group of the United States’ top high-tech companies. ITI cooperates with the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) under the framework of the business participation program in the Collective Action Plan (CAP) of SCSC. ITI is committed to cooperating with APEC member economies to ensure that these economies have access to information technology and its benefits and to reduce expenses arising from overlapping and complicated regulations on computers and other peripheral devices.

JODI - Joint Oil Data Initiative

Joint Oil Data Initiative - a joint activity of seven international organizations with the aim to improve the quality and transparency of international oil analysis. Originally known as Joint Oil Data Exercise, this initiative has been conducted since April 2001. The participating international organizations are Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT), International Energy Agency (IEA – OECD), International Energy Forum Secretariat (IEFS), Latin America Energy Organization (OLADE), Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD).

LAISR - Leaders' Agenda to Implement Structural Reform

Leaders’ Agenda to Implement Structural Reform - an action plan to realize APEC Leaders’ commitment to structural reform in the region. Effective structural reform is seen as the vehicle to achieve sustainable economic development, and hence, support the common goal of trade and investment liberalization. Structural reform improves market functions, increases competitiveness and boosts economic efficiency, thus improving the quality of life and economic development. Endorsed in 2004 a renewed work plan, LAISR 2010, was launched in 2006. LAISR concluded in 2010 with the adoption of ANSSR (see ANSSR).

Lead Economy

A term used in APEC to indicate a member economy which is responsible for the coordination and management of projects or other activities of APEC fora.

Lead Shepherd

The head of a working group under the Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) of APEC, within some SCE fora this position is called Chair. This is to differentiate with Convenor, who is the Chair of a forum under the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).


Term used for heads of APEC member economies participating in the annual Informal Sessions of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meetings (AELM). Terminology is in accordance with the common principle of APEC which refers to APEC participants as member economies, instead of sovereign nations.

Los Cabos Directives

Directives agreed by APEC Leaders at AELM in Los Cabos (Mexico 2002). These directives include guidelines on counter-terrorism and promoting growth, implementing standards on transparency, and strengthening trade security in the APEC region (STAR initiative).

LPMS - Less Paper Meeting System

Less Paper Meeting System - purpose is to reduce the amount of work, paper usage and procedures in organizing meetings of an APEC host economy, and increase the efficiency of the preparation process. SOM paper documents are transformed into electronic documents which are stored on a website where delegates can access them using computers in the meeting rooms. Less Paper Meeting System was used for the first time by Chinese Taipei in 2002. LPMS is also used for BMC Meetings held at the APEC Secretariat.

LSG - Liberalization Steering Group

Liberalization Steering Group - one of the three sub-committees under the Telecommunications and Information Working Group in APEC which proposes, implements and monitors projects and activities to advance the overall goals of APEC. The other sub-committees are the Information and Communications Technology Steering Group, and the Security and Prosperity Steering Group.

LSIF - Life Science Innovation Forum

Life Science Innovation Forum – brings together scientific, health, trade, economic and financial considerations to address the key challenges of infectious and chronic disease and ageing populations consistent with implementation of the LSIF Strategic Plan. Representatives from research institutes, government agencies, and industries from APEC economies participate. The first LSIF was held in Phuket, Thailand, in August 2003.

LSPN - Labor and Social Protection Network

Labor and Social Protection Network - mandate is to develop useful labor market information and policies, improve workplace conditions and practices, and strong social safety nets. The objective is to promote human capacity building, social integration and strong and flexible labor markets. Adopted by the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) of APEC in May 2000 and is based on the joint initiative of Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. LSPN works closely with the Capacity Building Network on Social Safety Nets issues.

MAG - Market Access Group

Market Access Group - promotes the reduction of tariff and non-tariff measures in the APEC region. Established in 1998 by the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).

MANPADS - Man-Portable Air Defense System

Man-Portable Air Defense System - an air defense system that can be easily carried, transported, and used to attack targets in the air. MANPADS are a serious threat to international civil aviation because they are easy to use, portable and readily available on black markets. At the 2003 AELM in Thailand, APEC Leaders agreed to adopt strict domestic export controls on MANPADS; secure stockpiles; take domestic action to regulate production, transfer, and brokering; ban transfers to non-state end-users; and exchange information in support of these efforts.

ME - Micro-enterprise

Micro-enterprise - defined by the European Union (EU) as an enterprise that employs fewer than five persons and with seed capital of not more than US$35,000. Standards of micro-enterprises in developing countries are much lower in terms of number of employees and annual turnover than those of developed countries.

Member Economy

A term used for an official member of APEC. Members taking part in APEC activities do so as economic entitites rather than as sovereign states. Currently, APEC comprises 21 member economies: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Viet Nam.

Ministerial Meeting on Human Resources Development

The first Ministerial Meeting on Human Resources Development was held in Manila, Philippines on January 1996 in response to the initiative of the President of Philippines Fidel Ramos, at the AELM 1994 in Bogor. This Ministerial Meeting provided the opportunity to significantly advance APEC economic and technical cooperation in human resources development towards building a regional community in the Asia-Pacific. Five Ministerial Meetings have been held in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2010.

Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development

Held for the first time in 1996 in Manila, Philippines, at which Ministers agreed to advance cooperation on sustainable development in APEC. Economic Leaders also released a declaration entitled “From Vision to Action: Promoting Rapid Economic Growth that Ensures a Healthy Environment and Improves the Quality of Life of Our Citizens is a Fundamental Challenge,”. The declaration directed Ministers to develop specific initiatives to implement an initial work program for sustainable development in APEC, Themes included sustainability of the marine environment, clean technology and clean production, and sustainable cities.

Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications

First held in May 1995 in Seoul, Korea, in response to an initiative proposed by H.E. President Kim Young Sam to advance APEC cooperation in telecommunications and information industry. There have been eight subsequent meetings since, the latest in 2010.

Ministerial Meeting on Women's Affairs

The first APEC Ministerial Meeting on Women’s Affairs was held in Manila, Philippines, October 1998. It concluded with the establishment of the Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC, an approach to integrating women into the mainstream of APEC activities. The second Meeting was convened in Mexico (2002) with the aim to further advance gender integration within APEC, and enhance women’s benefits and opportunities in the new economy.

Ministers' Conference on Regional Science and Technology Cooperation

Aim is to expand science and technology cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Held for the first time in October 1995 in Beijing, China; with another three meetings in, 1996, 1998 and 2004.


A person who directs and monitors a meeting to ensure that the meeting runs according to plan, on schedule and on topic, chairs the question and answer session, summarizes issues discussed and concludes the meeting. Moderator is also used to indicate a key person in the Individual Action Plan Peer Review Group of APEC.


The moratorium on new membership, effective through 2010, was agreed between APEC Leaders in 1997 in order to give APEC a period in which to lay firm foundations for the future given the considerable number of members (21).

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding

Memorandum of Understanding - a document that records the common intent of two or more parties where the parties do not wish to assume legally binding obligations. An MOU is usually less complex and less detailed than a contract, but provides a framework and set of principles to guide the parties in undertaking a project or working arrangement.

MRA - Mutual Recognition Arrangement

Mutual Recognition Agreement - an international agreement by which two or more countries agree to recognize one another's conformity assessments. If the products identified according to the MRA have been examined and assessed conformity before export, they will be directly imported by countries signing the agreement, instead of having to go through the examining and assessing process of the importing country. Hence, MRA is an important instrument in facilitating international trade.

MRCWG - Marine Resource Conservation Working Group

Marine Resource Conservation Working Group - facilitates balanced and integrated regional as well as national policies and programs that led to the sustainability of marine and coastal environment. Marine resources are very important to the economic development and social prosperity in the APEC region. Formed in 1990, the group is committed to implementing the Seoul Ocean Declaration (2002), the Revised MRCWG Strategic Framework (2005), and the Bali Plan of Action (2005). The group has been merged with the Fisheries Working Group and formally endorsed by Senior Officals in September 2011. It was renamed the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG)

MRT - Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade

Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade - the first meeting was held in October 1994 in Jakarta, Indonesia as a follow-up to the decision of the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Seattle, United States, 1993. The meeting has been held annually since 1996, to strengthen the multilateral trading system and the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation process of APEC. In recent years, Ministers have discussed issues on anti-corruption, human security, public-private partnership, and economic and technical cooperation.

MTF - Mining Task Force

Mining Task Force - work is driven by the 10 APEC Mining Policy Principles, which were finalized at the 2007 Ministers Responsible for Mining Meeting. Emphasis is placed on sustainable development for the mining industry. Established in 2007.

MTS - Multilateral Trading System

Multilateral Trading System - a trading system which involves participation of many different parties with the aim of promoting cooperation in terms of trade and the making of trade policy, rules and regulations among members. The term ‘multilateral trading system’ is used in APEC Statements to indicate the World Trade Organization - WTO (previously known as GATT).

MTST - Mid-term Stocktake on the Progress towards the Bogor goals

Mid-term Stocktake on the Progress towards the Bogor goals - commissioned by APEC Leaders in 2001, the MTST assessed how far APEC had moved towards the Bogor goals and what further actions were needed to reach the target. The findings of the 2005 “Mid-Term Stocktake of Progress Towards the Bogor Goals” report stated that APEC Member Economies had achieved significant liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment since 1994. APEC subsequently drafted the Busan Roadmap which outlined the next set of key steps and deadlines to achieve Bogor goals.


According to American scientist John Ruggie, multilateralism is defined as “coordinated behavior among three or more states on the basis of generalized principles of conduct”. Multilateralism comprises three main criteria: generalized principles of conduct, indivisibility and diffuse reciprocity (mutual concession). These principles are demonstrated in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and in the Most Favored Nation Treatment (MFN).

Murayama Fund

At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Osaka (Japan, 1995), Japan’s Prime Minister Murayama proposed contributing 10 billion Yen to the APEC Central Fund to support projects on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. Since then, Japan annually contributes its financial support to APEC and this amount of money has been put into an account specifically for activities on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, known as the TILF Special Account.

NAFTA - North American Free Trade Agreement

North American Free Trade Agreement - a trilateral trade bloc in North America, signed by the United States, Canada and Mexico on 1st January 1994 in which the three countries agreed to eliminate most of their trade and investment barriers against each other within 15 years. As at 2007 the trade bloc is the largest in the world In terms of combined purchasing power parity GDP of its members, and second largest by nominal GDP comparison.

NAMA - Non-Agricultural Market Access

Non-Agriculture Market Access - involves all products that are not covered by the Agriculture Agreement. In other words, NAMA products include all fish and fishery products, wood and forestry products, electronics, manufactures, automotive products, machinery, textiles, clothing, leather, chemical products, and mining products. Sometimes NAMA products are also called industrial goods or manufactured goods. NAMA products account for nearly 90% of export goods in the world. The WTO is trying to reduce or eliminate tariffs on NAMA goods, in particular products of export interest to developing countries, as part of the Doha Round.

NBIP - Non-Binding Investment Principle

Non-Binding Investment Principle - consists of 12 principles: transparency, non-discrimination, national treatment, investment incentives, performance requirements, expropriation and compensation, repatriation and convertibility, settlement of disputes, entry and sojourn of personnel, avoidance of double taxation, investor behavior, and removal of barriers to capital exports. These principles are part of the work program undertaken by the Investment Experts’ Group (IEG). There are many views within APEC that believe in enhancing the updating and implementation of NBIP to improve investments in the region. Agreed In Bogor (Indonesia, 1994).

NBPs - Non-Binding Principles on Government Procurement

Non-Binding Principles on Government Procurement - Developed by the Government Procurement Experts’ Group (GPEG) in August 1999, they comprise value for money, open and effective competition, fair dealing, accountability and due process, and non-discrimination. The original set of NBPs included Transparency; this has now been subsumed into the area-specific APEC Transparency Standards on Government Procurement. GPEG was disbanded in 2010.

NTMs - Non-Tariff Measures

Non-Tariff Measures - in general, this term is used to identify any measure which is not based on tariff and is applied in order to protect domestic industries. Many non-tariff measures originated from legitimate purposes, for example, human health protection, and are applied in accordance with WTO rules. Agreements such as the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) allow governments to practice legal benefit protection measures while minimizing obstacles to trade and avoiding the application of “disguised protectionism”. Non-tariff measures are one of the 15 specific areas outlined in the Osaka Action Agenda through which APEC member economies are working to eliminate non-tariff barriers in order to facilitate trade development in the region.

OAA - Osaka Action Agenda

Osaka Action Agenda - provides a framework for meeting the ‘Bogor Goals’ through trade and investment liberalization, business facilitation and sectoral activities, underpinned by policy dialogues and economic and technical cooperation. As part of this framework, nine General Principles have been defined for Member Economies as they proceed through the APEC liberalization and facilitation process. The Osaka Action Agenda on APEC Cooperation was adopted in 1995 at the AELM in Osaka, Japan.


The three official observers of APEC are: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC), and Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). These observers are allowed to attend all official meetings of APEC (except AELM) and have access to all documents and information relevant to these meetings. These observers are APEC’s partners, and contribute specialized knowledge and evaluate APEC activities to help APEC accomplish its initiatives and goals.

The first meeting took place in April 2001 in Seoul, Korea. Ministers discussed APEC activities in maintaining coastal and marine resources, while announcing the Seoul Oceans Declaration which included issues on building domestic standards and enhancing regional cooperation in various areas. The second meeting was held in September 2005 in Bali, Indonesia with the theme of promoting APEC cooperation to ensure the balance between economic growth and the management and preservation of marine resources and environment. The most recent meeting was themed Healthy Oceans and Fisheries Management Towards Food Security and took place in Paracas, Peru in 2010.

OFWG - Ocean and Fisheries Working Group

The Ocean and Fisheries Working Group works to exchange information and help foster institutional capacity building; advance the discussions and development of solutions of common resource management problems such as a climate change; develop a regional approach and improved coordination for the implementation of various instruments (e.g. International Plans of Action); facilitate trade and investment opportunities that promote sustainable use of fisheries, aquaculture, and marine ecosystem resources; ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources as well as protection of marine ecosystems needed to support fisheries and aquaculture; and explore common approaches to preventing illegal fishing and related trade.

Open Regionalism

An APEC theory which was adopted from the very beginning of the organization’s founding in 1989. The characteristics of open regionalism, expressed in a report by the Peterson Institute, are: 1) the maximum possible extent of unilateral liberalization; 2) a commitment to continue reducing its barriers to non-member countries; 3) a willingness to extend its regional liberalization to non members on a mutually reciprocal basis; and 4) recognition that any individual APEC member can unilaterally extend its APEC liberalization to non-members on a conditional or unconditional basis.

Open Skies Agreements

The objective is liberalization in civil aviation services, which means creating a free market for civil aviation services, providing sustainable benefits to customers, transporters, member communities and economies. These can be in the form of bilateral and multilateral agreements. The United States has so far negotiated 72 bilateral agreements. In November 2000, the Unites States, Singapore, Brunei and Chile signed the Multilateral Agreement on the Liberalization of International Air Transportation.


A multilateral free trade agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore which was signed on 3 June 2005 and came into force on 28 May 2006. It covers all the mainstays of an FTA, including trade in goods, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, intellectual property, government procurement and competition policy. The formal name of the P4 is the Trans-Pacific Strategic Partnership Economic Agreement (TPP). APEC Leaders view the TPP as one possible building block, along with other regional undertakings, to achieving a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, part of APEC’s regional economic integration agenda. Currently eleven APEC members are negotiating the TPP.

PAFTAD - Pacific Trade and Development Conference

Pacific Trade and Development Conference - an informal scientific conference of the private sector which promotes policy-oriented academic research and discussion of Asia Pacific economic issues. PAFTAD has great influence in the region as participants are leading economists with considerable national and regional influence. PAFTAD’s issues and ideas have been developed into action plans for other regional organizations such as APEC and PECC. Held for the first time in Japan in 1968.

Paperless Trading

Building a paperless trading environment is one of the priorities of APEC to promote trade facilitation. This issue was initiated at the 10th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 where Ministers endorsed the E-Commerce Blueprint for Action. At the 16th AMM in Santiago (Chile, 2004), Ministers endorsed the APEC’s Strategies and Actions Toward A Cross-Border Paperless Trading Environment in order to create a comprehensive paperless trading environment in the APEC region by 2020.

PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association

Pacific Asia Travel Association - an association comprising representatives of travel destinations, airlines, hotel groups, tour operators, travel agents and other agencies working to promote tourism in the Asia Pacific region. Along with its partners PATA aims to enhance the sustainable growth, value and quality of travel and tourism to, from and within the region. APEC and PATA jointly endorsed the Code for Sustainable Tourism at the Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting and the 50th PATA Conference took place at the same time in Malaysia (April 2001). Established in 1951.

Pathfinder Approach

An APEC approach which allows a group of members able to proceed more quickly on cooperative projects, to do so through cooperative pilot projects (known as ‘pathfinder initiatives’). Experiences generated from such pilot projects are then disseminated to other members. These other members are encouraged to join the pathfinder projects as soon as they are able. Pathfinder initiatives are developed in a manner consistent with APEC principles and practices, and capacity building often forms an important component of pathfinder initiatives.

Pathfinder Economy

An APEC member economy which volunteers to pilot the implementation of initiatives prior to their adoption by all APEC member economies. Experiences are then disseminated to other members while support is given to capacity building that facilitates the implementation of such projects.

Pathfinder Initiative

See Pathfinder Approach

PBEC - Pacific Basin Economic Council

Pacific Basin Economic Council - the oldest independent business association in the Asia-Pacific, with membership comprising executives from economies bordering the Pacific Rim and beyond. PBEC’s activities are focused on newly emerging issues. The goals are to promote trade and investment liberalization, and to institutionalize a sense of common regional identity. PBEC also contributed to the founding of APEC in 1989. Founded in 1967.

PBF - Pacific Business Forum

Pacific Business Forum - aimed to promote trade and investment as well as further developing a business network in the region. Established in 1993 by APEC Leaders in Seattle USA, the Forum comprised two businessmen from every member economy. The PBF submitted reports to APEC Leaders on liberalization and cooperation in the field of trade and investment. In 1995, the PBF was replaced by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

PD - Program Director

Program Directors - are often of diplomatic rank and seconded to work at the Secretariat by member economies. Program directors undertake work in specific fields and cooperative projects of APEC, oversee activities of relevant working groups, fora, and meetings to ensure that APEC requirements are met as well as effectively implement policy directives and declarations of Leaders and Ministers.

PDB - Project Database

Project Database - a tool to keep and make available up-to-date information on APEC projects.

PECC - Pacific Economic Cooperation Council

Pacific Economic Cooperation Council - serves as a regional forum for cooperation and policy coordination to promote economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. PECC cooperates and assists the APEC process by providing APEC with information and analysis on socio-economic situations and issues in the region. It is the only non-governmental observer at APEC. Established in 1980, PECC currently has 26 Member Committees and operates with a tripartite partnership of senior individuals from government, business and industry, academic and other intellectual circles.

PIF - Pacific Islands Forum

Pacific Islands Forum - a forum for member countries to express their common political views and cooperate in political and economic fields. PIF represents Heads of Governments of all the independent and self-governing Pacific Island countries and currently has 15 members. The Forum aims to enhance cooperation between the members. The Forum meets annually at the levels of Head of Government, with its 13 associate members of the Forum. Prior to 2000 the Pacific Islands Forum was called the South Pacific Forum. PIF is one of the three official observers of APEC, along with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). Established in 1971.


A term used in APEC to indicate the main cooperative fields in APEC. APEC has three cooperative pillars: Trade and Investment Liberalization, Business Facilitation and Economic and Technical Cooperation. These three pillars were endorsed by APEC Leaders in 2005 at the Osaka Meeting and are part of the Osaka Action Agenda (OAA).

PMU – Project Management Unit

PMU – Project Management Unit. The PMU of the APEC Secretariat administers project sessions on behalf of APEC members. It supports the carrying out of project responsibilities and assisting the BMC in overseeing APEC projects. PMU integrates knowledge and experience from a range of areas within the APEC Secretariat in undertaking its core project management tasks.

PO – Project Overseer

PO – Project Overseer. A PO is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the design, planning and implementation of a project are undertaken in accordance with APEC project guidelines. The PO is considered as both the individual and the organization that the PO represents. The Secretariat should be informed of any changes to the PO during the project preparation and implementation stages. 

PPD - Public-Private Dialogue

PPD - Public-Private Dialogue

PPFS - Policy Partnership on Food Security

Policy Partnership on Food Security - the group was formally established by Senior Officials in San Francisco, California in September 2011. It aims to ensure that APEC’s continued approach to food security and reflects member economies’ commitment to facilitation of investment, trade and markets and sustainable development of the agricultural sector as outlined in the Niigata Declaration on Food Security.

PPWE - Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy

Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy – A working group which aims to streamline and elevate the influence of women’s issues within APEC. The broad goal of the PPWE is to provide linkages between APEC working groups, APEC economies and the APEC Secretariat to advance the economic integration of women in the APEC region for the benefit of all members. Established at the second Senior Officials’ Meeting in May 2011 it combined the APEC Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN), an official APEC sub-forum and the private sector-oriented Women’s Leadership Network (WLN). The PPWE reports to the SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE).

PRP - Privacy Recognition for Processors System

This APEC initiative helps personal information processors demonstrate their ability to provide effective implementation of a personal information controller’s privacy obligations related to the processing of personal information.

PTA - Preferential Trading Arrangement

Preferential Trading Arrangement - trade agreements in which a group of countries are allowed to give preferential tariffs (reduce or eliminate tariff) to imported goods from countries participating in the agreements. Preferential Trading Arrangements can take the form of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), customs unions and common markets.

RAASR - Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform

The Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform (RAASR) was adopted by Structural Reform Ministers in 2015 and covers the period to 2020. Work is to be advanced across 5 areas: structural reform and inclusive growth; structural reform and innovation; structural reform and services; tools for structural reform; and new directions for structural reform. Economies have written individual action plans which detail structural reform priorities for domestic implementation by 2020, and a project sub-fund will support implementation. Progress will be reviewed at the mid-point in 2018. 

RDEAB - APEC Sub-group on Research, Development and Extension of Agricultural Biodiversity

APEC Sub-group on Research, Development and Extension of Agricultural Biodiversity - promotes the safe use of agricultural biotechnology, one of seven priority areas under the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG). It is a forum which cooperates and collaborates to identify and address common issues on agricultural biodiversity of member economies, and develop a concrete action plan in each relevant area. Established in October 1996.

REACH - Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals

Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals - a legal regulatory system on chemicals of the European Union. The APEC Chemical Dialogue has sought to coordinate broader APEC engagement in the European Union on regulatory issues and has focused specifically on concerns with the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) legislation.

REDI Center - Regional Emerging Disease Intervention Center

Regional Emerging Disease Intervention Center - aims to prevent and cope with infectious diseases, including natural-occurring and bioterrorist diseases. Co-founded by the United States and Singapore, the initiative was announced at the 2003 APEC Leaders’ Meeting, in the wake of the SARS epidemic.

Regional Economic Integration

Refers to agreements between countries in a geographic region to reduce, and ultimately remove, tariffs and non-tariff barriers to facilitate the free flow of goods and services between one another. In 2009 APEC Senior Officials agreed on a threefold comprehensive approach to accelerating regional economic integration – liberalizing trade and investment flows “at the border”, improving the business environment “behind the border”, and enhancing physical connectivity “across the border”.


Refers to the expression of a common sense of identity and purpose combined with the creation and implementation of institutions that express a particular identity and shape collective action within a geographical region. Regionalism is a theory and action implemented by governments for trade liberalization or facilitation in a region, or carried out through free trade areas or customs unions (WTO definition).


Term used in APEC to indicate an informal session of Senior Officials, Ministers or Leaders which takes place on the threshold of SOMs, AMM or AELM. It is an occasion where Senior Officials, Ministers or Leaders are able to exchange views freely, openly and informally on key issues of APEC.

Revised Kyoto Convention

Promotes trade facilitation and effective controls through its legal provisions that detail the application of simple yet efficient procedures, and is the blueprint for modern and efficient customs procedures in the 21st century. Also known as the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures which was signed in 1973 and entered into force in 1974. The World Customs Organization (WCO) Council adopted the revised Kyoto Convention in June 1999. APEC is a pioneer in conforming to this Convention, and in October 2001, Leaders endorsed the Pathfinder initiative on participation in the revised Kyoto Convention. The Revised Kyoto Convention entered into force on February 3, 2006.

RIA - Regulatory Impact Analysis

Regulatory impact analysis is a method of systematically and consistently examining potential impacts arising from government action and communicating the information to decision-makers. The most effective RIA processes are built upon a strong foundation of adequate resources. In this respect, capacity-building is vital in the area of RIA as it contributes to developing the resources needed to carry out an RIA process.

RMAS - Regional Movement Alert System

Regional Movement Alert System - allows information sharing on lost or stolen documents, which enables immigration officials to verify movement of passengers before boarding or during the flight. The objective is to strengthen the collective capacity of participating APEC economies to detect lost, stolen and otherwise invalid travel documents and to prevent them from being used illegally. Under RMAS, economies can establish connections to access each others’ lost, stolen or invalid passport data in real-time, without having to pool information in a central database.

ROO - Rules of Origin

Rules of Origin – the criteria used in international trade to determine the country where a product was made. These rules are an essential part of trade rules because a number of discriminatory policies exist between exporting countries, such as quotas, preferential tariffs, anti-dumping actions, or countervailing duties. Products imported from different countries are treated with different policy regulations. Rules of Origin are also used to compile trade statistics, and for “made in…” labels that are attached to products.


A term used for a conference which involves several participants who are equal when expressing their views. There is no leader or member with more exclusive rights than the others, and no splinter groups.

RTA - Regional Trade Agreement

Regional Trade Agreement - a preferential trade agreement or free trade agreement, signed between countries in the same region (often located near to each other). The highest development stage of RTA is a free trade area.

Santiago Initiative for Expanded Trade in APEC

Objective of this initiative is capacity building so that all economies can implement and benefit from their work on trade liberalization and facilitation. The initiative has two components: 1) Trade and investment liberalization through the promotion of WTO Doha negotiations, mid-term stocktake of the Bogor Goals, free and regional trade agreements, and other unilateral and collective market-opening activities; and 2) Trade facilitation through reducing business transaction costs, embracing automation, harmonizing standards and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade, advancing trade facilitation negotiations in the WTO, promoting secure trade, and building the APEC Best Practices for FTAs/RTAs in the area of trade facilitation.

SARS - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - an infectious disease of the respiratory system characterized by fever, headache and body aches, dry cough, and difficulty in breathing. SARS became a global problem in March 2003 when this disease spread widely in China; Hong Kong, China; Singapore; Viet Nam and other countries across the world, creating serious impacts on human health and economic and trading activities.

SARS Action Plan - APEC Action Plan on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

SARS Action Plan - APEC Action Plan on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - plan to reduce damages created by SARS to member economies and consolidate public confidence. The Action Plan involved: 1) a common set of guiding principles for health screening procedures for travelers; 2) encouraging cooperation towards prevention and treatment of SARS along with other emerging diseases; and 3) exchanging information and best practices to address consequences of SARS in the tourism industry. Proposed in 2003.

SCCI - Supply Chain Connectivity Initiative

Supply Chain Connectivity Initiative - a framework of actions and measures to ensure a seamless flow of goods and services from the time they leave the factory to the time they reach the customer. In 2010 the CTI agreed to adopt 10 percent as the overarching target for improving supply-chain performance in terms of time, cost and uncertainty by 2015.

SCCP - Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures

Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures – aims to facilitate trade activities through simplifying and harmonizing customs procedures among APEC member economies and was instrumental in the implementation of the first Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP). Works directly under the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) of APEC. SCCP was originally known as the Customs Procedures Group in 1994.

SCE - SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation

SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH - assists APEC Senior Officials in coordinating and managing the ECOTECH agenda, and identifying value-added initiatives for cooperation action, and to provide policy guidance on ways to contribute to APEC's ECOTECH goals. The predecessor of SCE was the ECOTECH Sub-Committee of the SOM (ESC) which was established in 1998. In September 2005, SOM renamed the ESC to the SCE.

SCSC - Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance

Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance - works to strengthen standard harmonization and conformance, thus promoting efficiency in production and facilitate trade among APEC economies. Established in 1994, reports directly to the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).

Strengthening Economic Legal Infrastructure - work involves promoting regulatory and institutional reform, particularly in building the capacity and skills of individuals in economic legal infrastructure and corporate governance, as well as to improve the capacity of legal institutions and government agencies in applying and enforcing rules on corporations and competition. Work in this area is undertaken by the Economic Committee.

SFOM - Senior Finance Officials Meeting

Senior Finance Officials Meeting - brings together senior finance officials from the APEC member economies to discuss developments on the regional financial situation.

Shanghai Accord

 A development strategy for APEC, the accord was endorsed by APEC Leaders at the AELM in 2001 in Shanghai, China. The Accord includes: 1) broadening APEC’s vision for the future by identifying a conceptual and policy framework to guide APEC in the new century; 2) clarifying APEC’s roadmap in achieving the Bogor Goals on schedule of a mid-term stocktake (in 2005) of the overall APEC progress since its inception; 3) strengthening APEC’s implementation mechanism by strengthening the Individual Action Plan Peer Review, reinforcing economic and technical cooperation and capacity building efforts.

Singapore Issues

At the WTO Ministerial Conference in Singapore in 1996, Ministers recognized four major problems to put forward for negotiation in the WTO: investment facilitation, competition policy, government procurement, and trade procedures simplification (trade facilitation). These are known as Singapore Issues. Many WTO members endeavored to bring these issues into negotiations at the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) but did not reach an agreement.

SME - Small and Medium Enterprises

Small and Medium Enterprises - while there is no commonly accepted definition of SMEs criteria often used to define SMEs include the number of employees, capital, total assets, productivity and turnover. For example, according to the European Union’s (UN) definition small-sized enterprises have 10 to 49 employees with maximum turnover of EUR 10 million. SMEs account for 90% of all enterprises and attract from 32% to 84% of employees from each APEC economy.

SMEMM - Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting

Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting - the first meeting to discuss SMEs was held in October 1994 in Osaka, Japan. Recognizing the economic importance of SMEs in the Asia – Pacific APEC has held annual SMEMMs since that time.

SMEWG - Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group - main objective of the group is to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the APEC region to improve their competitiveness while creating a more open trade and investment environment to encourage the development of SMEs. Established in 1995, and originally known as the Ad Hoc Policy Level Group on SMEs (PLGSME), the group was renamed SMEWG in 2000.

SMM - Sectoral Ministers' Meeting

Sectoral Ministers’ Meetings - discuss policy issues and cooperation covering areas of education, energy, environment and sustainable development, human resource development, regional science and technology cooperation, small and medium enterprises, telecommunications and information, tourism, trade, finance, transportation and women’s affairs.

SOD - Seoul Oceans Declaration

Seoul Oceans Declaration - states joint directions to highlight the importance of oceans to the region, the preservation and management of living marine resources, promote the improvement of ocean forecasting and monitoring systems, strengthen the participation of interest groups and the private sector in policy planning. Endorsed at the APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, Korea, April 2002.

SOM - Senior Officials' Meeting

Senior Officials’ Meeting - submits proposals to Ministers and implements policies made at Ministerial Meetings. SOM supervises and coordinates budget and working programs of APEC fora to implement declarations and directives given by APEC Leaders and Ministers. SOM is held in advance of and to prepare for Ministerial Meetings.

SOM Chair

The lead person of the Senior Officials’ Meetings with responsibility for reporting to APEC Ministerial Meetings on outcomes achieved and problems to be solved in the APEC year. The APEC host economy assigns a senior official, often of the deputy ministerial rank of that economy, as the SOM Chair with the leading role for Senior Officials’ Meetings in a given APEC year.

SOM Senior Official

Person who leads the delegation of a member economy to participate in the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (APEC SOM) and is the official contact person for dialogues among member economies. Senior Officials are directly responsible to the Joint APEC Leaders for APEC related issues. Generally, APEC economies appoint officers of departmental rank or equivalent to take on Senior Official roles.

Spaghetti Bowl Effect

Preferential trade agreements (bilateral and regional PTAs) create fundamental conflicts with multilateralism in that they promote trade liberalization based on discrimination between members of those agreements and non-members. The Spaghetti Bowl Effect is an illustration of the complicated situation which occurs when products are brought into important markets by various ways depending on their origins. Globalization of production makes the identification process of product origins more difficult.

SPF - South Pacific Forum

Previous name of the Pacific Islands Forum before 2000 (see PIF).

SPS - Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement - sets out the WTO’s basic rules on food safety and plant and animal health standards. Each country may set its own standards; however the standards must be based on science. They should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health. And they should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between countries where identical or similar conditions prevail. Members are also encouraged to use existing international standards, guidelines and recommendations where they exist to reduce the likelihood of legal challenges stemming from WTO disputes.

SSM - Support Staff Member

Support staff member - a title given to specialist staff in the APEC Secretariat in Singapore. SSMs comprise program executives who assist program directors; and administrative, information technology, communications and public affairs executives.

SSN-CBN - Social Safety Net Capacity Building Network

Social Safety Net Capacity Building Network - carries out social safety capacity building activities in the APEC region. The term social safety net was mentioned for the first time in APEC at the end of 1997 in discussions on the impact of the regional financial crisis in 1997-1998. In November 2000, at the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Brunei the Ad Hoc Task Force on Strengthening Social Safety Nets was established, and then renamed in 2002 to the Social Safety Net Capacity Building Network (SSN-CBN).

SSOM - Special Senior Officials' Meeting

Special Senior Officials’ Meeting - an ad hoc meeting of APEC Senior Officials (SOM) that is convened extraordinarily to discuss issues that need emergency consideration and cannot wait for formal meetings.


Standstill - one of the nine principles in achieving trade and investment liberalization and facilitation which was stated in the Osaka Action Plan (1995) of APEC. Based on this principle, each APEC member economy agrees not to take any measure that might increase protection levels, thus ensuring the sound and effective process of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

STAR - Secure Trade in the APEC Region

Secure Trade in the APEC Region - objective of this initiative is to protect trade infrastructure in the Asia – Pacific region against terrorist threats. STAR covers cooperative measures to protect cargo, ships, international aviation and people in transit. Endorsed at the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in October 2002 in Mexico.

Steering Group on Food Safety Cooperation

Works to find solutions to strengthen APEC cooperation in food safety. The group works under the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) of APEC. Established in September 2005 it was replaced in 2007 by the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum.

Strategic Plan for Promoting Life Sciences Innovation

Approved in 2004 the plan provides recommendations for strengthening the innovative life sciences sector in the APEC region, placing particular emphasis on boosting region-wide levels of investment in research and development for health innovation. Members of the Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) include implementation of the plan as part of their work program.

Structural Reform

The goal of structural reform is to create a favorable policy environment for accountable, transparent government with a well-defined public and private sector working in mutual reinforcing ways to promote prosperity and sustainable development. Structural reform programs usually consist of a package of inter-related policy correctives designed to improve both the external and internal policy environment. The inaugural Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting was hosted by Australia in 2008.

Sunset clause

A provision in a statute or regulation that terminates all or portions of the law after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend it. This clause is also applied in APEC fora (working groups, task forces, sub-groups, sub-committees, etc.) whereby, any forum which does not have the minimum required number of participants in two consecutive meetings can be terminated.

Sustainable Development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is a concept widely used in the United Nations, APEC and other international organizations, covering development in areas such as economic, social, political and environmental protection.

SWISS Formula

A special kind of tariff-harmonizing method which uses a coefficient to make steeper cuts on higher tariffs and gentler cuts on lower tariffs with the aim to narrow the gap between high and low tariffs. It uses a single mathematical formula to produce a narrow range of final tariff rates from a wide set of initial tariffs and a maximum final rate, no matter how high the original rate was. This formula was proposed by Switzerland in the 1973 -1979 Tokyo Round negotiations. The APEC Trade Ministerial Meeting in Jeju (Korea, 2005) agreed on using the SWISS formula in the reduction of tariffs on non-agricultural products in the Doha Development Round of WTO.

TBT - Technical Barriers for Trade

Technical Barriers for Trade - technical regulations and product standards may vary from country to country, which in turn creates many difficulties for producers and exporters. Rules set arbitrarily could create barriers to trade. The WTO’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) tries to ensure that regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures do not create unnecessary obstacles.

Technology Choice

According to this proposal, governments should implement non-discriminatory technology policies and regulations to foster competition, encourage creativity and maximize technological benefits to businesses and consumers. The Technology Choice proposal was proposed by the United States in 2005 to ensure the rights for technology choice and usage in the APEC region. In June 2006, agreement was reached within APEC to endorse a set of technology choice principles, and in 2010, 15 APEC member economies were involved in the Technology Choice Principles pathfinder.

TEL - Telecommunications and Information Working Group

Telecommunications and Information Working Group - aims to improve telecommunications and information infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region by developing and implementing appropriate telecommunications and information policies, including relevant human resources and development cooperative strategies. Formed in 1990, TEL was restructured in 2006 to ensure a better response to information and communication technology (ICT) challenges. Three steering groups on Liberalization (LSG), ICT Development (DSG), and Security and Prosperity (SPSG), and a Mutual Recognition Arrangement Task Force (MRATF) were established to propose, implement and monitor projects and activities.

TELMIN - Telecommunication Ministerial Meeting

See Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications.

TFAP I - Trade Facilitation Action Plan I

Trade Facilitation Action Plan I - in Shanghai in 2000, APEC Leaders set the goal to reduce transaction costs by 5% in the following five years. To accomplish this, in 2002 APEC developed the Trade Facilitation Action Plan which was implemented under the supervision of CTI. Members agreed on the implementation of trade facilitation measures in the fields of customs procedures, standards and conformance, business mobility and e-commerce. TFAP I’s objectives were achieved in 2006, and a new Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP II) was launched in 2007.

TFAP II - Trade Facilitation Action Plan II

Trade Facilitation Action Plan II - built on the success of TFAP I, Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP II) aims to reduce transaction costs by a further 5% in the Asia Pacific region for the period 2007-2010. The goal of TFAP II is to streamline electronic customs documentation, improve the online business environment, harmonize domestic and international standards and make business travel easier. The plan contains a set of collective actions, among them so-called "customs single windows" which enable businesses to lodge standardized information and documents at a single entry point to meet all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. Other initiatives include the harmonization of food safety standards that will reduce costs to business; further work on cross-border privacy rules to protect the integrity of e-commerce; and the expansion of the APEC Business Travel Card scheme. The final assessment, conducted in 2011, showed that APEC has achieved the Leafers’ goal of a further 5% reduction in trade transaction costs for the period 2007-2010.

TFEP - Task Force on Emergency Preparedness

Task Force on Emergency Preparedness - a specialized coordinating body which cooperates and coordinates with all APEC fora to strengthen capacity on monitoring disasters, improve understanding of disaster prevention and self-defense skills as well as the importance of natural disaster prevention. Activities related to preventing emergencies undertaken by APEC fora are reported to TFEP, which combines best practices on monitoring natural disasters and provides them to affected economies or regions for implementation. As an immediate response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, APEC Senior Officials adopted an APEC Strategy on Response to and Preparedness for Natural Disasters and Emergencies and formed a Virtual Task Force for Emergency Preparedness (VTFEP) in March 2005 and in May 2005. VTFEP was renamed TFEP. TFEP was reformed to the Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) in 2010.

TFTF - Trade Facilitation Task Force

Trade Facilitation Task Force – a sub-group of the Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance. Members share information on standards and conformance issues, and exchange views and information on the connection between trade and product-related standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Established in January 2005.

TILF - Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation

Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation - was discussed by APEC for the first time at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) in Seattle in 1993 with the idea of building APEC as a free and open trade area. This idea was developed into the Bogor goals at the AELM in 1994 with the theme “achieving free trade and investment no later than 2010 for developed economies and 2020 for developing economies”. At AELM 1995 in Osaka, APEC endorsed the Osaka Action Agenda to actualize the Bogor goals. At AELM 1996 in Manila, APEC adopted the Manila Action Plan for APEC (MAPA) which outlined measures for the implementation of OAA.

TILF Fund – Trade and Investment Liberalization and Facilitation Fund

The TILF fund was established in 1997 and is sourced from voluntary contributions from APEC economies. All TILF projects must clearly contribute to achieving trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation objectives that are articulated by Leaders’ or Ministers’ directives or relate to at least one of the 15 areas listed in Part 1 of the Osaka Action Agenda. The funding criteria for TILF require member economies to self-fund a percentage of the overall project cost.

Tourism Charter

APEC Tourism Charter - reflects a collective commitment to improve economic, cultural, social and environmental well-being of APEC member economies through tourism. The Charter recognizes the contribution tourism makes to APEC economies and establishes four key policy goals and an agreed process for realizing these aims: 1) Removal of impediments to tourism business and investment; 2) Increase mobility of visitors and demand for tourism goods and services; 3) Sustainable management of tourism outcomes and impacts; and 4) Enhance recognition and understanding of tourism as a vehicle for economic and social development. Endorsed at the 1st APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, Korea.

Tourism Ministerial Meeting

The meeting aims to promote tourism policy dialogue and cooperative activities in the region. The first meeting was held in 2000 in Seoul, Korea.

TPP - Trans-Pacific Partnership

See P4.

TPTWG - Transportation Working Group

The Transportation Working Group - aims to achieve the liberalization of transportation services and works to enhance the safety of APEC transport systems to encourage economic development in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to balance security, safety and environmental requirements with trade facilitation. TPTWG’s efforts are focused on the facilitation of domestic policy regulations; the development of intermodal supply chains and secure transport activity; the integration of Corporate Social Responsibility; and building the capacity of all stakeholders to help them reach the eventual goal of free and open trade.

Trade Facilitation

Those efforts to reduce business transaction costs by simplifying administrative procedures, customs laws, standards harmonization, etc. to ensure business activities are carried out faster and smoothly. Since its establishment in 1989, APEC has exerted great efforts to promote trade facilitation. At AELM in Shanghai, China in 2001, APEC Leaders agreed to strive for a 5% reduction in transaction costs by 2006. APEC developed the General Principles on Trade Facilitation (2001) and Trade Facilitation Action Plan I (2002) to realize the Shanghai goals. TFAP I was successfully achieved, and a new plan, TFAP II, launched in 2007. APEC also actively contributes to global trade facilitation processes, especially through the WTO.


A criterion prescribed in cooperative actions of the WTO, APEC and other international organizations, by which policies, regulations, procedures, economic and trading activities are defined and implemented in a clear, open and predictable way.

Transparency Statement

At the 10th AELM in October 2002 in Los Cabos, Mexico, APEC Leaders adopted the Statement to Implement APEC Transparency Standards by no later than January 2005. In 2003, the Transparency Standards on Market Access were endorsed. In June 2004, the Trade Ministerial Meeting adopted the Transparency Standards on Government Procurements.

Transportation Ministerial Meeting

Objectives of the meeting are to promote the exchange of views on common transportation issues in the Asia- Pacific region. Work is undertaken to develop and maintain a sustainable and environmental-friendly transportation infrastructure which is secure, effective, and integrated, facilitate transportation policy to enhance the flow of goods and passengers, and identify as to which human resources need transportation support. First meeting held June 1995 in Washington, United States.

Trade-Related Investment Measures - one of the agreements of the Uruguay Round of the WTO. The Agreement states the rights and responsibilities of WTO member countries in applying trade-related investment measures to trade in goods only. TRIMS maintains that no member should apply a measure that is prohibited by the provisions of Article III (national treatment) or Article XI (quantitative restrictions) of GATT 1994. The Agreement contains transitional arrangements allowing Members to maintain notified TRIMs for a limited time following the entry into force of the WTO (two years in the case of developed country Members, five years for developing country Members, and seven years for least-developed country Members).

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights - one of the important agreements coming out of the Uruguay Round of the WTO (together with the General Agreement on Trade in Services – GATS). Since it came into effect on 1 January 1995, TRIPS has improved regulations regarding intellectual property rights (IPR) that have been stated in GATT, and fixed minimum levels of protection for copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, patents, new varieties of plants, and trade secrets. TRIPS states that members should apply IPR protection standards using an effective implementation system. This allows developed countries to apply minimum standards and protection procedures while giving developing countries a preparation period before applying such standards. The agreement also stipulates that intellectual property protection should contribute to technical innovation and the transfer of technology - both producers and users should benefit.

TSA - Tourism Satellite Account

Tourism Satellite Account - a statistical accounting framework in the field of tourism which measures tourism-related goods and services according to international standards of concepts, classifications and definitions which allow valid comparisons from country to country in a consistent manner. A complete TSA contains detailed production accounts of the tourism industry and their linkages to other industries, employment, capital formation and additional non-monetary information on tourism. The 4th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting held in Hoi An, Viet Nam on 17-18 October 2006 reaffirmed the application of TSA in APEC member economies.

TWG - Tourism Working Group

Tourism Working Group - brings together tourism administrators to share information, exchange views and develop areas of cooperation on trade and policies. Formed in 1991 in recognition of the growing importance of the tourism industry in promoting economic growth and social development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Uruguay Round

A multilateral trade negotiation round of the WTO which was launched in Punta del Esta, Uruguay, September 1986 and ended in Geneva, December 1993. Multilateral agreements of the Uruguay Round were signed by GATT Ministers in Marrakesh, Morocco in April 1994 which initiated the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a replacement for the GATT. The Round came into effect in 1995 and has been implemented over the period to 2000 (2004 in the case of developing country contracting parties) under the administration of the WTO.

WG - Working Group

Working Group – Comprised of delegates from APEC member economies. The working group focuses on activities of particular fields or projects to promote economic cooperation in APEC. There are currently 11 working groups under the SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH, sub-groups and three industry dialogues under CTI, and the Competition Policy and Law Group under the Economic Committee. Working groups are equivalent in positions to consultation and expert groups that together form a larger group, known collectively as APEC fora.

WLN - Woman Leaders' Network

Woman Leaders’ Network - aimed to constructively affect the decision-making process on socio-economic and gender development in the Asia-Pacific region through the contributions of woman leaders. The network met annually at the invitation of the APEC Host economy. While the WLN was not an official part of APEC, it had been successful in holding policy sessions with APEC every year since 1996. In May 2011 The WLN along with the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) was subsumed into the newly formed Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy.

WMD - Weapons of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Destruction - biological, chemical and nuclear weapons with the capacity to kill and destroy in a short-time period and on a wide scope. There are many multilateral treaties and agreements which aim to prevent the use of WMS such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Biological Weapons Convention and Chemical Weapons Convention. At AELM 2003, in responding to the United States’ proposal, Leaders committed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction by “strengthening international non-proliferation regimes, adopting and enforcing effective export controls, and taking other legitimate and appropriate measures against proliferation”.

WTO - World Tourism Organization

World Tourism Organization (specialized agency of the UN) - role is to promote the development of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, with the aim to contribute to economic development, international understanding, peace, prosperity and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Membership is comprised of 161 countries and more than 390 affiliate members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations, and local tourism authorities.

WTO - World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization - is the successor to - GATT. Its functions consist of: 1) administering international trade agreements; 2) acting as a forum for trade negotiations on reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to goods and services; 3) settling trade disputes; 4) reviewing national trade policies; 5) assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programs; and 6) cooperating with other international organizations. The WTO’s top level decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference which meets at least once every two years. The WTO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and has 153 members as of 2009.