Basics of APEC:

  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific
  • APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration
  • The 21 members of the APEC forum, which comprises countries bordering the Pacific Ocean including the U.S., China and Japan, account for about half the world’s trade and almost 60 per cent of global GDP
Analyse how APEC membership will benefit India’s interests? (200 Words)
Asia Pacific Economic cooperation is a forum of21 Pacific Rim member countries which seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia Pacific  Region. .
APEC seeks to promote trade and commerce between the members. In this perspective it provides a great opportunity for the country citing the recent upward trends in Indian economy and reforms like Make in India etc. which will be requiring foreign markets to tap the full potential and further build upon it by importing advanced technology from some member countries who excel in it. Also it will fuse in the required capital for industrial growth via the FDI route. This increased trade will not only show positive balance of trade but will also create employment opportunities in the country resulting into all round economic development.
On other aspects APEC also provides with an chance toexplore more oil and gas reserves both for import purposes as well as exploration(ONGC Videsh).Further APEC also works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth  which is badly required in the country citing the poor standards and 1/4th of the country’s population still being illiterate.
Further it will also strengthen India Look east policy by strengthening relations with countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Japan etc. This along with better economic relations with China can put pressure on them to resolve the border issues with India. At the same time New Delhi needs to be alert that it is not being used by Beijing to counter the Washington led less inclusive Trans-Pacific Partnership and its domestic conditions are not being exploited by other countries.
Being a member of APEC is a win-win situation for India which needs to be utilized carefully to build upon its trade prospects and improved bilateral, multilateral relations with member countries.
What is the status of India’s membership?
  • India had applied for APEC membership in 1991 on the basis of its geographic location, potential size of the economy and degree of trade interaction with the Asia-Pacific.
  • However, at the fifth APEC Leaders’ meeting in Vancouver in 1997, a decision was taken to place a ten-year moratorium on expanding membership, which continues informally till date.
  • India is engaging with APEC member countries to develop a consensus on lifting the informal moratorium on accepting new members and to actively push for India’s candidature for membership of APEC
  • On bilateral level, India has pursued every member and they favour India’s inclusion in APEC, including USA, Japan, China and Russia.
Where are things stuck now?
  • APEC members wants India to commit to binding concessions which are not in favour of India



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