APEC promotes trade and economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and is of considerable economic and political significance to New Zealand.

New Zealand was a founding member of APEC when it began in 1989, with only 12 members. APEC is now made up of 21 Pacific Rim members: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Viet Nam.

APEC members are referred to as "member economies" because not all members are states. Also, the APEC process is mainly concerned with trade and economic issues.

APEC spans four continents and is home to approximately 40% of the world's population. It also accounts for close to 47% of the world's trade and 56% of global GDP. The focal point of APEC is its annual Economic Leaders Meeting. This is the largest gathering of its kind in the region. The APEC process involves ministerial and officials' forums covering a wide range of issues, including trade and investment, economic cooperation and counter-terrorism.

New Zealand's engagement with APEC reflects our strong relationship with the Asia-Pacific region. In 2014, 74% of our goods exports went to APEC members, while 72% of our imports came from those economies. Fourteen of our top 20 export markets are APEC members, including the three largest economies in the world - the United States, China and Japan.

Peru will host APEC in 2016. New Zealand is next due to host APEC in 2021.

Read more about APEC (external link)

APEC Business Travel Card

The APEC Business Travel Card allows frequent business travellers from participating APEC members streamlined, pre-cleared access into most parts of the APEC community.  Key features of the APEC Business Travel Card include:

  • No requirement to apply for visa or entry permits
  • Express immigration clearance through special APEC lanes on arrival and departure at major international airports
  • Multiple entry to participating economies for a stay of up to 90 days on each visit.

APEC Business Travel Cards are available to all business people engaged in trade and investment activities who:

  • Are passport holders from participating economies
  • Travel frequently to conduct business activities in participating APEC economies
  • Have a clear criminal record.

To find out more information and to obtain an application form visit Immigration New Zealand (external link)

For further information about the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) card can also be found on the APEC Business Mobility Groups website (external link)

Participating APEC members are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, United States and Vietnam.