A common market is the first step towards an internal market and may initially be limited to a free trade area. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a multilateral agreement governing international trade. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum of 21 Pacific countries (former member states) that aims to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the emergence of regional economic blocs (such as the European Union) in other parts of the world, APEC strives to improve living standards and educational standards through sustainable economic growth and to promote a sense of community and appreciation of common interests among Asia-Pacific countries. Rich countries protect their own exports, while their competitors in poor countries agree to open their markets. Useful standards such as human rights or environmental standards are set aside. The result is a “race to decline”, with the only priority being profitable production at the expense of labour, resources and sustainability. Because of these shortcomings, agreements tend to undermine development and drive poor countries deeper into poverty. At the 1994 meeting in Bogor, Indonesia, APEC leaders adopted the Bogor Goals, which aim for free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by 2010 for developed countries and by 2020 for developing countries. In 1995, APEC established a business advisory board called the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), composed of three executives from each member economy. To achieve the Bogor Goals, APEC is carrying out work in three main areas: in terms of the combined GDP of its members, the trading bloc will be the largest in the world from 2010 on.
NAFTA has two additions: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC). The objective of NAFTA was to remove barriers to trade and investment between the United States, Canada and Mexico. A common market is a first step towards an internal market and may initially be limited to a free trade area with relatively free capital and services, but less advanced in reducing other barriers to trade. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization created on July 22, 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference, created on December 27, 1945, when 29 countries signed the IMF articles of the agreement.