Trade group established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional economic blocs (such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Area) in other parts of the world. APEC works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. At the end of the 1990s APEC's membership included its 12 founding members—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States—as well as Chile, China (including Hong Kong), Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, and Vietnam; Taiwan also participates as “Chinese Taipei.” The Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, the South Pacific Forum, and the secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations maintain observer status. The APEC group represents about 40percnt of the world's population, 40percnt of global trade, and 50percnt of the world's gross national product. Seealso NAFTA; trade agreement; World Trade Organization.
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Cooperation, co-operation, or coöperation is the process of working or acting together, which can be accomplished by both intentional and non-intentional agents. In its simplest form it involves things working in harmony, side by side, while in its more complicated forms, it can involve something as complex as the inner workings of a human being or even the social patterns of a nation. It is the alternative to working separately in competition. Cooperation can also be accomplished by computers, which can handle shared resources simultaneously, while sharing processor time.
However, cooperation may be coerced (forced), voluntary (freely chosen), or even unintentional, and consequently individuals and groups might cooperate even though they have almost nothing in common qua interests or goals. Examples of that can be found in market trade, military wars, families, workplaces, schools and prisons, and more generally any institution or organisation of which individuals are part (out of own choice, by law, or forced).
Many people resort to this because, they may cooperate by trading with each other or by altruistic sharing.
Certain forms of cooperation are illegal in some jurisdictions because they alter the nature of access by others to economic or other resources. Thus, cooperation in the form of cartels or price-fixing may be illegal.
A few mechanisms have been suggested for the appearance of cooperation between humans or in natural system
One reason for this may be that if the prisoner's dilemma situation is repeated (the iterated prisoner's dilemma), it allows non-cooperation to be punished more, and cooperation to be rewarded more, than the single-shot version of the problem would suggest. It has been suggested that this is one reason for the evolution of complex emotions in higher life forms, who, at least as infants, and usually thereafter, cannot survive without cooperating - although with maturation they gain much more choice about the kinds of cooperation they wish to have.
There are four main conditions that tend to be necessary for cooperative behaviour to develop between two individuals: