[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 September, 2003, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
World trade blocs: APEC
EUCairns GroupNAFTABack to introduction Click on the map to read about the world's trade blocs

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is a loose grouping of the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean who have pledged to facilitate free trade.

Its 21 members range from China and Russia to the United States, Japan and Australia, and account for 45% of world trade.

Progress on free trade initiatives was seriously dented by the 1997-98 Asian crisis, which hurt the economies of the fast-growing newly industrialised countries like South Korea and Indonesia, and the SARS epidemic of 2003.

But recently China suggested it would be interested in establishing a free-trade zone with the growing economies of South-east Asia.



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific