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The Development of APEC Mechanism: Inspirations for Advancing the Belt and Road International Cooperation Mechanism (No.90, 2019)


By Yu Jun, Zhang Youyi & Long Yingxian, Research Team on “The International Cooperation Mechanism for Advancing the Belt and Road Initiative”, International Cooperation Department, DRC

Research Report, No.90, 2019 (Total 5590) 2019-6-12

Abstract: As an Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation organization established at the end of the Cold War, APEC has played an important role in promoting the liberalization and facilitation of regional trade and investment. In the course of 30 years of development, APEC has gradually formed a decision-making mechanism centered on the leaders’ meetings, and supplemented by the ministerial conference on foreign affairs, economics and commerce, the annual ministerial meetings on professional issues, and the business advisory council. APEC has developed a working-level mechanism consisting of senior officials’ meetings and its special committees, affiliated committees and working groups. At the same time, the APEC Permanent Secretariat provides service for APEC activities at various levels. The APEC mechanism is featured by high-level and informal meetings on permissive issues and attended by participants from different organizations, whereas its improper institutional arrangements and weak binding force have greatly reduced its functions. The advance of the Belt and Road mechanism for international cooperation needs to refer to APEC’s experience and lessons, strive to win support from big nations, improve the level of institutionalization and binding force in a timely manner, and promote the synergy between APEC action plan and the task set forth by the Belt and Road Initiative in enhancing policy communication, road inter-connectivity, trade flow, currency circulation and common aspirations of the people.

Key words: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Belt and Road Initiative, international cooperation mechanism