Skip to main content

ABAC to Propose Initiatives to Promote Inclusive Growth

APEC Secretariat Melbourne, Australia | 13 August 2015

Melbourne, Australia, 13 August 2015 — Urgent action to facilitate inclusive growth to drive prosperity was the theme of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting held in Melbourne this week. This is the main message that ABAC will convey to APEC Leaders during their dialogue when they gather in November in Manila for their annual summit.


“The opportunities we all seek to create jobs and achieve greater prosperity for everyone – man,  woman and child, in all APEC economies – will be possible if we eliminate barriers to trade and investment faced by both big and small businesses alike," said Doris Ho, ABAC 2015 Chair.


ABAC members will propose a range of initiatives in Manila for APEC Leaders, in support of inclusive growth and equal access to opportunities in the region. These include facilitating physical, human and institutional connectivity, creating robust and inclusive financial systems, promoting access to global markets of micro, small and medium enterprises, or MSMEs, enhancing participation in global value chains and strengthening services sectors.


“ABAC has placed priority on developing the services sector, which is the single biggest contributor to employment – 46 per cent – and output – 70 per cent – in APEC economies, as well as offering significant opportunities for MSMEs,” said Ho. “Most of the barriers to the growth of services are structural in nature and will require ambitious policy and regulatory reform.”


With MSMEs accounting for 97 per cent of enterprises and up to 90 per cent of employment in individual APEC economies, ABAC will also call for further efforts to address barriers inhibiting the participation of MSMEs in cross-border trade. Focus areas include leveraging e-commerce, taking steps to enhance access to finance and boosting innovation through partnerships and networking among innovation systems.


“The Free Trade Area of the Pacific, which ABAC first proposed ten years ago, is the most practical vehicle to achieve the kind of sustainable and inclusive environment that our Leaders envisioned when they created APEC in 1989,” continued Ho. “ABAC will provide the business perspective in the design of the roadmap towards the realization of the FTAAP, initiated in Beijing last year. We support the TPP, RCEP, Pacific Alliance as pathways to the future FTAAP.”


“We urge APEC economies to show leadership at the World Trade Organization Ministerial in Nairobi, recognizing the fundamental importance of the multilateral trading system," Ho added.


ABAC also called on Structural Reform Ministers to be bold and decisive in dealing with policy-induced distortions and structural impediments to trade and investments in the Asia Pacific Region.


# # #


About the APEC Business Advisory Council:

ABAC was created by APEC Leaders in 1995 to be the primary voice of business in APEC. Each economy has three members who are appointed by their respective Leaders. They meet four times a year in preparation for the presentation of their recommendations to Leaders in a dialogue that is a key event in the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.


ABAC is implementing a work programme under the theme “Resilient, Inclusive Growth: A Fair Deal for All” to respond to these challenges. There will be four tracks: advancing the regional integration and services agenda, strengthening and facilitating the access of SMMEs to the global market, maximizing innovation and human capital potential, and promoting liveable, sustainable cities.


ABAC 2015 co-chairs are Juan Francisco Raffo and Ning Gaoning, with five (5) working group chairs, namely: Sir Rod Eddington, Regional Economic Integration Working Group; Hiroyuki Suzuki, Finance & Economics Working Group; Dato Rohana Tan Sri Mahmood, SMME & Entrepreneurship Working Group; Bart Peterson, Sustainable Development Working Group; and Anthony Nightingale, Connectivity Working Group.


For further information, please contact:


Ms. Catherine Maceda, ABAC Executive Director 2015, Tel: (63 2) 720 2100 loc. 2606 Email: [email protected] 


Mr. Antonio Basilio, Director, ABAC Secretariat, Tel: (63 2) 845 4564, Email: [email protected]

Subscribe to our news

Never miss the latest updates