What is Asia Pacific Group (APG)?

The Asia Pacific Group has released its Annual Business Report which highlights the achievements of the APG over 2019-2020 against the goals and strategies contained in the Strategic Plan 2016–2020. The mandate of the Asia Pacific Group has been extended for eight years (2020-2028.)

The draft strategic plan (2020-2024) is expected to be adopted in the annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Group in 2021.

Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) is an intergovernmental organization established with the objective of implementing international standards against money laundering. It was established in 1997. It is headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Currently, it has 41 nations as its members. Australia is the permanent Co-chair of APG.

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Salient Features of APG

  1. Along with Australia which is a permanent co-chair of the group, Malaysia is the current second co-chair of the group. It will hold this position till 2022. [The position of the second co-chair is rotated every two years.]
  2. Australia and Bangladesh were founding members of APG Group in 1997.
  3. India has become the co-chair of the group from 2020 to 2012. Directorate of Enforcement (ED) represented India.
  4. There are 41 members in the Asia-Pacific Group.
  5. Apart from members, the Asia Pacific Group has eight observer jurisdictions and 32 observer organizations.
  6. The eight observer jurisdictions are:
    • France
    • Germany
    • Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    • Kiribati
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Russian Federation
    • Tuvalu
    • United Kingdom
  7. Some important organizations that are APG observers are:
    • ASEAN Secretariat
    • Asian Development Bank
    • Europian Commission
    • International Monetary Fund (IMF)
    • United Nations
    • UN Office on Drugs and Crime
    • World Bank
  8. The eight Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional bodies (FSRBs) mentioned below are also the observers of APG:
    • CFATF
    • EAG
    • FATF
    • GABAC
    • GIABA

Read about the above-mentioned organizations from the links given below:

Association of South Eastern Nations (ASEAN) Asian Development Bank (ADB)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) United Nations (UN)

Is India a Member of Asia Pacific Group?

India became a member of APG in 1998. APG has 2 Co-chairs, one permanent and one two year term rotating co-chair. India held the rotating 2-year term Co-chair from 2010 to 2012. India has enacted anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation. India has even established a Financial Intelligence Unit to detect fraudulent financial activities.

What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)? 

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an intergovernmental organization formed with the initiative of G7 countries in 1989. It was formed with the objective of combating money laundering. FATF is headquartered in Paris, France. 37 countries are members of the FATF, and 2 regional organisations European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council are also members of FATF.  From 2000, FATF started issuing a list of countries that does not cooperate with international efforts to combat money laundering and financial terrorism.

How Many Countries are in the FATF Blacklist?

As of February 2020, 2 countries are in FATF blacklist i.e. North Korea and Iran and 18 countries are in the FATF Grey List. Pakistan, Myanmar, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Syria are some of the countries listed in the FATF greylist.

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

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