APEC Business Advisory Council

Commerce is the lifeblood of the region and business is the engine of economic growth.

Recognising the integral role of business and the value of representative business advice on key issues, APEC Leaders established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in 1995.

This private sector body presents recommendations to APEC Leaders in an annual dialogue and advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and concerns. ABAC meets four times per year, and ABAC representatives also attend Senior Officials' Meetings, the Annual Ministerial Meeting and the sectoral Ministerial Meetings.

ABAC comprises up to three senior business people from each APEC economy and the appointments are made by the Leader of the member economy concerned. The Chair of ABAC comes from the economy that is hosting APEC and therefore changes annually. ABAC represents a diverse range of sectors and includes small and large enterprises.

Last page update: September 2018

2018 Program

The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is the private-sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.  APEC Economic Leaders established ABAC in November 1995 to advise them and other APEC officials on issues of interest to business. ABAC also responds to requests from various APEC sub-groups for information about the business perspective of specific areas of cooperation.

ABAC members are appointed by their respective economic leader and represent a range of business sectors, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).  Each of the 21 member economies determines the term of their appointees and provides for their administrative and staff support.

The chairmanship of ABAC rotates according to which economy serves as the annual APEC host economy.  In 2018, the ABAC Chair is Mr. David Toua from the 2018 APEC Host Economy, Papua New Guinea.

The council is also supported by the ABAC International Secretariat based in Manila. The Secretariat serves all members and all economies and maintains the ABAC website. Funding is provided through annual member dues, following the APEC formula.

This year, ABAC adopted the theme “Digitization and Innovation – Advancing Social Harmony.”   The 2018 work program will focus on the following priorities:

  • Accelerating regional economic integration
  • Sustaining, developing and deepening inclusive growth opportunities
  • Creating opportunities for MSMEs to prosper
  • Strengthening financial systems to secure stable growth, investment and inclusiveness
  • Breaking barriers to enrich society by advancing technology

To carry forward the work program for 2018, ABAC established the following working groups with their respective goals and focus areas:

Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG)

  • Promote open trade and investment; remove non-tariff barriers
  • Enhance regional investment flows
  • Progress pathways towards the realization of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and the Lima Declaration
  • Progress the implementation of the APEC Services Competitiveness Roadmap

Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG)

  • Promote energy security, diversification and efficiencies and support Post-Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • Promote real income growth of low and middle income groups by 3% annually to drive consumption and investment
  • Promote measures to ensure food security, sustainable agriculture and fisheries and urban infrastructure
  • Promote APEC mining principles and inclusive business through extractive industries

MSME & Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG)

  • Enhance MSME access to finance
  • Promote business strategies that stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and good governance
  • Facilitate MSME access to markets and global value chains
  • Promote human capital development of MSMEs in the digital world

Finance & Economics Working Group (FEWG)

  • Mobilize finance and enhanced governance to promote quality infrastructure investment
  • Encourage financial innovation, fintech and inclusiveness
  • Support enhanced fiscal management, revenue raising and improved management of public debt
  • Encourage targeted capacity building measures to enhance financial systems and market efficiencies

Digital and Innovation Working Group (DIWG)

  • Develop business perspectives on frontier digital and innovation challenges; support the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap and the E-Commerce Facilitation Framework
  • Promote measures to encourage the social absorption of emerging new technologies and entrepreneurship
  • Contribute to the APEC Economic Committee Review of Structural Reforms relevant to digitization and beneficial to business
  • Support the development of a policy framework to upgrade human capital skills and training to adapt to challenges of digitization

Detailed recommendations will be developed during the course of this year on all priorities identified in the 2018 work program. ABAC’s recommendations will be conveyed to APEC governments, through a range of avenues, such as through APEC Senior Officials; Trade, SME and Finance Ministers; and directly to APEC Economic Leaders during the annual Dialogue with APEC Leaders.

ABAC work groups will meet throughout this year as scheduled below:

ABAC I – Auckland, New Zealand, 1–4  Feb

ABAC II – Tokyo, Japan, 16–19 April

ABAC III – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 23–26 July

ABAC IV – Port Moresby, PNG, 13–15 November

Related News

See all news