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Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a group of Pacific Rim countries who meet with the purpose of improving economic and political ties. The first meeting was held in Canberra, Australia in 1989. It holds annual meetings in each of the member countries and has standing committees on a wide range of issues from communications, to fisheries.

APEC's stated "Bogor Goals" adopted in 1994 are aimed at free and open trade and investments by cutting tariffs between zero to five percent in the Asia-Pacific area for industrialised economies by 2010 and for developing economies by 2020.

APEC was revitalised in 1993 when the U.S President Bill Clinton boosted the organization, seeing it as a crucial vehicle to bring the derailed Uruguay Round of trade talks back on track.

In 1997 the APEC summit was in Vancouver, British Columbia. Great controversy arose when RCMP officers used pepper spray against protesters protesting against the presence of dictators such as Indonesia's president Suharto.

In 2003, Jemaah Islamiah head Riduan Isamuddin, a.k.a. Hambali, was planning an attack against the October 2003 APEC summit in Bangkok. He was nabbed in the city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, near Bangkok by Thai Police on August 11, 2003, before he could finish planning his attack on the APEC summit.

APEC's 21 members by date of membership are:

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