APEC Business Advisory Council advocates for shared prosperity and collaboration across the region
(Top Photo) Members of the Asean Business Advisory Council came together in Bander Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam for the 2nd leg of the ABAC 2023 conference. The conference was from April 27 to 30 at The Empire Hotel.
(Below Photo) Aboitiz’s First Vice President and Chief Sustainability and Reputation Officer Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar (left on screen) represented Aboitiz Group President and CEO and ABAC’s Sustainable Growth Working Group (SGWG) Co-chair Sabin Aboitiz by proposing two initiatives on Climate Risk Scenario and the use of Nuclear Energy – Small Modular Reactors before the ABAC members and to ABAC China member and SGWG Chair Frank Gaoning Ning (right on screen) last ABAC 2 meetings in Brunei.
As the host for the third leg of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Conference, ABAC Philippines (PH) eagerly anticipates the arrival of over 200 esteemed members and guests from the 21 APEC economies who will be attending the conference at the NuStar Convention Center from July 27-30, 2023. For four days, this gathering will serve as a platform for meaningful dialogue, collaborative decision-making, and fruitful exchanges between economies. Led by ABAC PH Chair Tomas Alcantara, and ABAC PH members Joanne de Asis and Sabin Aboitiz, the ABAC PH takes great pride in facilitating an engaging and productive environment, fostering strong relationships, and paving the way for new opportunities and partnerships. This conference is poised to make a lasting impact on regional cooperation and to further strengthen the ties of the diverse economies of the Asia-Pacific.
ABAC is a key institution for fostering economic growth, cooperation, and partnership across the Asia-Pacific region. Comprising leading business executives from the 21 APEC economies, ABAC serves as a vital conduit between the private sector and APEC leaders, offering strategic advice and recommendations to shape policies that promote sustainable and inclusive development. With its unwavering commitment to facilitating trade, investment, and innovation, ABAC plays a pivotal role in driving economic integration and enhancing the competitiveness of businesses in the dynamic Asia-Pacific market. As ABAC embarks on its latest initiatives, it continues to be at the forefront of advocating for collaborative and forward-thinking approaches that harness the region’s vast potential for shared prosperity.
In November 1995, APEC leaders created the ABAC because they were cognizant of the vital role of the business community and the value of having business leaders as experts in providing their views and advice on important matters.
ABAC holds the distinction of being the only non-governmental organization that engages in a formal dialogue at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. The council serves as a dynamic platform that facilitates communication and collaboration between the private sector and APEC governments. Its primary objective is to provide recommendations and guidance on policy matters that impact the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Council convened its inaugural meeting and engaged in a dialogue with economic leaders in 1996, coinciding with the Philippines’ first presidency of APEC. Ambassador Roberto Romulo of the Philippines assumed the role of ABAC’s inaugural chairman, bringing valuable leadership and expertise to the council’s initiatives.
To effectively communicate its insights, ABAC produces an annual report that encompasses a comprehensive examination of significant economic challenges and opportunities. These reports offer practical information to policymakers, corporations, and other stakeholders in the region, enabling informed decision-making.
Guided by this year’s theme of “Equity. Sustainability. Opportunity,” the ABAC 2023 work program prioritizes several key areas:
Economic Integration Working Group: This group focuses on promoting and advancing economic integration within the Asia-Pacific region. By facilitating trade and investment flows, reducing barriers, and fostering cooperation, ABAC aims to enhance regional economic integration.
Sustainable Growth Working Group: ABAC recognizes the importance of sustainable development and endeavors to promote environmentally friendly practices and policies. The Sustainable Growth Working Group addresses issues such as climate change, resource efficiency, and green technologies to foster sustainable economic growth in the region.
Digital and Innovation Working Group: In the era of rapid technological advancement, ABAC recognizes the significance of digitalization and innovation. This working group explores ways to harness digital technologies, promote digital inclusion, and foster innovation to drive economic growth and development.
Finance Task Force: The Finance Task Force focuses on financial matters that impact the Asia-Pacific region. It addresses issues such as financial stability, access to finance, and infrastructure financing to ensure a conducive financial environment for businesses and sustainable economic growth.
Inclusion Task Force: ABAC is committed to promoting inclusive growth that benefits all segments of society. The Inclusion Task Force works towards reducing inequalities, promoting gender equality, empowering marginalized groups, and fostering social inclusion within the region’s economies.
Through these priority areas, ABAC aims to provide valuable insights and recommendations to APEC leaders, contributing to the economic development, prosperity, and sustainability of the Asia-Pacific region. ### (PR)
About ABAC Philippines
APEC Leaders, in 1995, established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) tasked to provide a private sector perspective towards achieving free and open trade and investments in the Asia Pacific region (Bogor goals). In 2020, Leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision, for an open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.
The Council had its first meeting and dialogue with the Leaders in 1996 when the Philippines first chaired APEC. Ambassador Roberto Romulo of the Philippines served as ABAC’s founding chairman.
Every year, ABAC submits a Report to APEC Leaders which outlines key recommendations focused on regional economic integration. ABAC also engages with Ministers, especially those responsible for Trade, Finance, SME, Energy, Food Security, Health, and Women to address urgent challenges.
ABAC Members representing the Philippines are Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, Tomas Alcantara, Chair of ABAC Philippines, Joanne de Asis, Globe Capital Partners LLC Chairperson, Francis Chua, Founding Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Philippines (ICCP), and Liveable Cities Challenge Chairman Guillermo Luz.