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The APEC CEO Summit, formerly known as the APEC Business Forum, has been annually organized along with the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting since 1996. It has grown in stature to become one of the most prestigious annual events of the region. The last summit was held in Lima, Peru from November 20 to 22, 2008.

In 1996, there were more than 450 business leaders from the Asia-Pacific region attended the forum held during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. The forum showed the business sector's willingness to partcipate in the APEC proces. Canadian President, Malaysian Prime Minister, Philippine President and Chile President addressed in the forum. As it could effectively reflect the views and advices of the business sector on the APEC process, it has become an important form for the communication between government and business circles during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

In 1997, the APEC CEO Summit in its current name was held for the first time in Vancouver, Canada. More than 200 entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region attended the summit. The theme of the summit was "APEC Means Business" . At this summit, Chinese President Jiang Zemin delivered a speech for the first time, and Prime Minister of Australia, Prime Minister of Canada, President of Mexico and Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa also addressed in the summit.

The Shanghai APEC CEO Summit 2001 was the first meeting for business leaders across the Asia-Pacific region in the new century, regarded as "having a special meaning different from the past." The theme of the summit was "New Century, New Economy: Developing in a Globalizing World." Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President George W. Bush, Prime Minister of New Zealand, President of Mexico, Prime Minister of Australia, President of the Philippines, Prime Minister of Malaysia and other state leaders of APEC member economies addressed in the summit.

As the biggest annual event of the business community of the Asia-Pacific region, it provides opportunities for business leaders in the region to hear presentations from and to engage in discussions with APEC economic leaders, policy makers, academia on the most critical economic and business issues facing the region. 

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