India in APEC: Views from the Indo-Pacific

By Hugo Seymour

The first meeting of APEC, held in Canberra in November 1989, occurred just days prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Much has changed since then, including the re-emergence of India. As the world’s fastest growing major economy, India is predicted to boast an economy equivalent in size to the US by 2030, and become the second largest economy in the world by 2050. However, India is absent from APEC, the region’s premier economic forum.

With India and the region in the midst of a major geopolitical and geoeconomic realignment, global stability and prosperity requires cooperation overcoming competition. This includes in discussing, formulating and abiding by the rules of the road on trade, investment and economic liberalisation. It is in this context that the prospects and implications of Indian accession to APEC should again be considered.

This Perth USAsia Centre Special Report examines regional perspectives on whether India should be a member of APEC. Bringing together a number of authors from India and six APEC economies, it unpacks the varied range of interests, objectives and agendas informing views on this important issue.

Reflecting this, the national perspectives in this publication are varied in their focus, reasoning and advocacy. By presenting an assortment of views concerning India in APEC, this report will assist Indo-Pacific governments engage in informed policymaking regarding India’s relationship with the region’s preeminent economic forum.

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