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International trade law: Regions: Asia Pacific

APEC : Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

Economic forum of Pacific Ocean rim states with a mission goals of greater economic co-operation and trade liberalization.

Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (South), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea,
Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taipei, Thailand, United States of America, Vietnam

ASEAN: Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam (1984), Vietnam (1995), Lao PDR (1997), Myanmar (Burma)(1997), and Cambodia (1999) have since joined.


Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Since 2012 30 rounds of negotiations to bring together the members ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Signature 15 November 2020


First, there was the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, a Free Trade Agreement  (2005, (EIF 1 May 2006) between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Singapore and New Zealand.

Then 12 Pacific Rim Countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States - negotiated a larger agreement Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) . It was signed on February 4, 2016.

On 23 January 2017 President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States.

Consequently, the remaining signatories have been developing the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or sometimes TPP-II) It differs from TTP in just over 20 provisions (some of original ones were discontinued; others were altered.) 

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP or UNESCAP)

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Made up of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members.

Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP works to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges by providing results oriented projects, technical assistance and capacity building to member States in the following areas:

  • Macroeconomic Policy and Development
  • Trade and Investment
  • Transport
  • Social Development
  • Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Statistics
  • Sub-regional activities for development


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