Asia-Pacific region Current Affairs - 2020

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Economic Decline of 2.7% expected in the region

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation has stated that the APEC region is to face an economic decline of 2.7% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Also, the region is to face near growth rate. This will be the highest decline for the region since the 2008 financial crisis.

Highlights

The unemployment rate according to the report of APEC was 3.8% in 2019 and it is to increase to 5.4% in 2020. The region is also expected to face an economic rebound in the year 2021. The anticipated growth of the region in the 2021 is 6.3%.

APEC

APEC comprises of Vietnam, US, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Philippines, Peru, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Chile, Canada, Brunei and Australia.

It was begun in 1989. The forum was formed to leverage the growing inter dependence of the countries in the region of Asia-Pacific. The region has now been renamed as Indo-Pacific.

The three major observers of APEC include ASEAN, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and Pacific Islands Forum.

India and APEC

India is not a member of APEC. For the first time, India was invited to be an observer in the association in 2011. India has requested for membership in APEC and had received the support from Japan, US, Papua New Guinea and Australia. There are constraints faced by India to join APEC as India does not border Pacific Ocean.

Pakistan blacklisted by Asia-Pacific Group of FATF

The Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan in Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards. Decision in this regard was taken at FATF APG plenary meeting held in Canberra, Australia.

Reasons for blacklisting: FATF APG has found that Pakistan was non-compliant on 32 of 40 compliance parameters of terror financing and money laundering. On 11 effectiveness parameters of terror financing and money laundering, Pakistan was adjudged as low on 10. Moreover, Pakistan was not able to convince 41-member plenary to upgrade it on any parameter.

About Asia Pacific Group (APG)

It is Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body for Asia-Pacific region to develop policies to combat money laundering and terror financing. It is inter-governmental organisation founded in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Members: It consists of 41 member jurisdictions as its members. It also has number of observer jurisdictions and international/regional observer organisations.

Mandate: It is focused on ensuring that its members effectively implement international standards against money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing related to weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).