“We believe that now is the time to make the necessary investments towards ensuring a robust and coherent cooperative environment in the Asia-Pacific,” Hans Klemm, Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, said in a testimony to the U.S. Congress recently. “In the global society in which we live, America’s future success is now intrinsically linked to the success of others.”
The world of the 21st Century is increasingly linked by new technologies, rapid increases in international trade and financial flows, global supply networks, and the rapid proliferation of competitive companies. This new reality poses opportunities for trade, investment, and job creation, as well as challenges.
“Participating in Asia’s growth is central to [the United States’] economic prosperity,” Mr. Klemm said. “As it is one of the fastest growing regions and withstood the 2008 economic crisis better than the rest of the world.”
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a primary organization for the United States to engage with the Asia-Pacific countries economically. The twenty-one APEC members account for 55 percent of the world’s GDP, 45 percent of global trade, and 40 percent of the world’s population. Sixty percent of U.S. export goods go to APEC economies and five of America's top seven trade partners are APEC members.
APEC, as an international organization, promotes free and open trade, investment and initiatives to build healthy and resilient economies. APEC also maintains partnership with the private sector, which ensures that its initiatives are focused, constructive, and beneficial to all the members. APEC is able to bring together officials at every level of government – from leaders to technical experts – to tackle issues in practical and concrete ways.
The members of APEC also recognize that security plays a vital role in a healthy economy. They work to secure the region’s transportation and supply chain, and protect its economic and financial infrastructure from attack or misuse.
“The United States is committed to building mature and effective partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region that can mobilize common action and settle disputes peacefully,” Mr. Klemm said in conclusion. “So that we can work toward fostering rules and norms that help manage relations between peoples, markets, and nations, and establish security arrangements that provide stability and build trust.”