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 is home to approximately 38% of the world's population. It also accounts for 47% of the world's trade and 60% of global real 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 2017, 72% of our total exports went to APEC members, while 70% 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.

Chile is currently hosting APEC.  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.

For further information about the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) card and to obtain an application form, visit the Immigration New Zealand website (external link). For specific enquiries, contact abtc@mbie.govt.nz.

For people travelling to New Zealand on the APEC Business Travel Card, visit the Immigration New Zealand 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.