In November 1993, the APEC Economic Leaders launched the APEC Leader's Education Initiative (ALEI) to develop regional cooperation in higher education, study key regional economic issues, improve worker skills, facilitate cultural and intellectual exchanges, enhance labor mobility and foster understanding of the diversity of the Asia Pacific region. At the ALEI meeting, all participating members agreed to establish APEC Study Centers, utilizing existing universities and research institutions in order to promote APEC-related studies and to promote programs for greater exchange of scholars and students.
In response to the ALEI, the Philippine APEC Study Center Network (PASCN) was established by virtue of Administrative Order No. 303 issued by President Fidel V. Ramos on November 23, 1996. Prior to the issuance of Administrative Order No. 303, however, a group of universities and research institutions, led by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), held a meeting on November 7, 1995 to organize the PASCN. Since its establishment, the PASCN has been utilized by the government in its bid to enlarge and deepen its perspective on various issues that are currently part of the APEC agenda.