APEC economic leaders come together

Economic leaders

The 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (or APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting took place November 10–12, 2014, in Beijing, China. The gathering of 21 global leaders included Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Barack Obama, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among others.

APEC economic leaders come together

Many of these leaders have attended such APEC meetings in the past. Meanwhile, it was a first for the new Indonesian President, Joko Widodo. Widodo was inaugurated as the President of Indonesia on October 20, 2014.

Investors in exchange-traded funds investing in the US, such as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) or the iShares S&P 500 ETF (IVV), as well as those investing in other world economies such as India (EPI), China (FXI), and Japan (EWJ), among others, take important cues from such events.

What is APEC?

APEC, established in 1989, is a forum for the 21 economies that lie around the Pacific Ocean rim. The need for such an alliance was prompted by several factors:

  • The growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies
  • The advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world
  • Fears that highly industrialized Japan, a member of the G8, would come to dominate economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region
  • The need to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe, where demand was declining

The association seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. APEC also supports sustainable economic growth, better living standards, and a shared sense of community and interests among member nations.

Let’s take a look at this year’s key announcements and takeaways from the APEC meeting.