History and Establishment

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APEC was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies. APEC promotes open trade and practical economic cooperation amongst its members. In APEC terminology, members are referred to as “economies” and not as “countries”.

APEC as an organization is a relatively loose grouping, based on consensus and voluntary commitments of members. It encourages cooperative activities amongst members as it is concerned with making development sustainable both economically and environmentally. APEC has many working groups and task forces which oversee these projects and ultimately report to annual meetings of finance ministers and APEC Leaders. Meetings of other high-level politicians such as Science Ministers also take place from time to time. Within APEC is the Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (ISTWG). ISTWG’s objective is to improve quality of life while safeguarding the natural environment that is built on the development and application of industrial science and technology within a dynamic Asia-Pacific region. (Osaka, Action Agenda)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)‘s member economies are located on a map below.

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Established as a project of the ISTWG in 1998, hosted by the National Science and Technology Development Agency of Thailand (NSTDA), the APEC Center for Technology Foresight aims to develop and diffuse foresight capability and leading edge planning tools to prepare APEC Economies for rapid change and major societal challenges through:

  APEC-wide foresight projects
  Regional, sectoral, and organizational foresight
  State-of-the-art foresight training
  National and regional strategy planning

From 2009 onwards, the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI), also located in Bangkok, becomes the new host of the Center.

Though started simple, the Center has gradually adapted its approach over the past decade as it has tackled a variety of topics seen to be of importance to the APEC region (water, energy, emerging diseases, among others). The projects have become more complex and have increasingly involved a wide range of experts from different backgrounds as the need for convergence of technologies and knowledge systems in pursuit of a common goal has emerged.

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