Law Library Newsletter September 2004
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New World Trade Blocs on the Rise

Chenglin Liu, Foreign and International Law Librarian

Are you familiar with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)? The two organizations have played an important role in shaping regional and world trade policies. However, little research has been done on APEC and ASEAN. It could be a good topic for your seminar paper.

APEC consists of 21 member economies, covering 2.6 billion people or 30% of the world population, account for approximately 60% of the world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and nearly 72% of world economic growth. APEC has greatly contributed to the liberalization of world trade and investment. The frequent meetings of the leaders of its members and the exchange of trade information within APEC have facilitated mutual understandings between the least developed nations and the developed nations. Since the September 11th attacks, APEC members have also actively participated in the anti-terrorism efforts. ASEAN, which consists of 10 member countries, has played an important role in advocating the interests of the least developed nations in Southeast Asia, especially after the failure of the Seattle Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO). By establishing external relations with the developed economies and other regional trade organizations, ASEAN has been praised for its active role in the promotion of interregional dialogue and cooperation. It has become a recognizable team player in the world trade negotiations. For more information about APEC and ASEAN, please visit this research guide: fi/Asiatrading.htm.


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