Philippines to host APEC leaders' summit after two decades

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Philippines is all set to host 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit from 18–19 November 2015 in its capital city of Manila. It is the second time Philippines is playing host to the APEC, having hosted the event previously in 1996.

The capital Manila will host leaders from 21 economies along the Asia Pacific and heads of state from 18 countries including the United States, China and Japan will be attending.

Theme for 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit :- The theme for this year's APEC summit is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World” under which Philippines will push for inclusive growth by highlighting the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which account for more than 97 per cent of businesses in APEC economies.

The key road maps that will be endorsed in the summit are :-

  • The Cebu Action Plan for financial integration :- It aims to protect the region from financial crises
  • Boracay Action Agenda:- It is  is meant to help micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access the regional and global market.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit :-

  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies. It comprises of 21 nations which account for nearly half of the world's trade and about 57 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP)
  • The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country.

Members nations of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation are :- Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Peru, Russian and Vietnam

Criticism :-

APEC has been criticised for promoting free trade agreements that would trammel national and local laws, which regulate and ensure labor rights, environmental protection and safe and affordable access to medicine. According to the organization, it is "the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region" established to "further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community.However, whether it has accomplished anything constructive remains debatable, especially from the viewpoints of European countries that cannot take part in APEC and Pacific Island nations that cannot participate but will suffer its consequences.

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