What is APEC?

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — A number of the world’s biggest economies will gather at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) from November 18 to 19 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting. Here are a few things you need to know about the summit.

Fast Facts

  • Founded in November 1989
  • Its main goal: to provide an avenue in creating and maintaining sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Politics will take a backseat to economic issues
  • This year’s theme: “Building inclusive economies, building a better world”
  • APEC agreements are not legally binding

APEC in the Philippines

The Philippines hosted the summit for the first time in 1996 — this was the fourth APEC summit. Mediterranean-style villas were built in Subic, Zambales to house 18 leaders.

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Fidel Ramos was the Philippine president at that time. In an interview with CNN Philippines' Mitzi Borromeo, Ramos shared some memorable moments he had at the 1996 APEC summit with then Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

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Among the highlights of the APEC meet is the APEC CEO Summit. Eight discussions and dialogues will happen, with topics spanning inclusive growth, health and education, and Asia-Pacific trade, among others.

World and industry leaders will be taking part in the discussions and dialogues and these will be moderated by eight individuals who are highly regarded in their fields of expertise.

Meet the moderators of the APEC CEO Summit

The International Media Center

Journalists from different countries will be covering the APEC meetings from the International Media Center (IMC), the communication hub at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. CNN Philippines correspondent Isabella Montano walks us through the IMC.

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Who are the members of APEC?

The 21 prime ministers and presidents of different countries attend the APEC summit—not as heads of state or government, but as economic leaders.

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Gallery: Leaders and delegates from the APEC member economies

Benefits of being an APEC member

APEC provides it member economies, the business community, and other parties a venue to discuss issues that affect the region. Here, they can exchange ideas, opinions, and plans that can strengthen the Asia-Pacific region’s growth.

Reduction of barriers and obstacles to trade across borders is also one of the benefits that businesses gain from taking part in APEC.