Commerce is the lifeblood of the region and business is the engine of economic growth.
Recognizing 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 November 1995.
The APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is the private-sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. The main mandate of this council is to advise Leaders 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.
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 members are appointed by their respective economic leaders 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 Chair of ABAC comes from the economy that is hosting APEC and therefore changes annually.
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.
In 2021, ABAC presented its recommendations to APEC Economic Leaders in relation to ABAC’s 2020 priorities of “Integration, Innovation, Inclusion and Sustainability.”
For more information about ABAC, please visit their website.
This year, ABAC adopted the theme “Embrace. Engage. Enable.”
- Embrace the reconnected world with endless opportunities.
- Enable in collaborating on new ideas, creativities, and possibilities.
- Engage digitized, sustainable, and inclusive new transformational models.
The 2022 work program will focus on the following priorities:
Regional Economic Integration Working Group
- Progressing pathway agreements towards the realization of FTAAP
- Supporting the WTO and advocacy for the rules-based multilateral trading system
- Strengthening services trade and investment
- Reopening borders for safe and seamless travel
Digital Working Group
- Establishing foundational digital infrastructure
- Accelerating the adoption of digital tools for trade facilitation
- Expanding vital physical infrastructure to expedite the digitalization of the economy and advance digital inclusion
MSMEs and Inclusiveness Working Group
- Promoting digital transformation of MSMEs
- Enhancing inclusion through women’s economic empowerment
- Promoting sustainable practices
- Building MSMEs’ financial capacity
Sustainability Working Group
- Building next zero economy and promoting green recovery in APEC
- Advancing realistic energy transition towards low-carbon in APEC
- Fostering a sustainable food system
Finance and Economics Working Group
- Promoting speedy and sustained recovery
- Developing a public-private partnership framework for pandemic risk transfer
- Financing the transition to sustainability
- Building an enabling ecosystem for digital finance
Detailed recommendations will be developed over the course of 2022 on the priorities identified in the work program. ABAC's recommendations will be conveyed to APEC governments through a range of avenues, including to APEC senior officials; ministers of trade, small and medium enterprises and finance; and directly to APEC Economic Leaders at their annual dialogue with ABAC delegates.
1st ABAC Meeting, 2022, Singapore, Singapore
15-18 February 2022
2nd ABAC Meeting, 2022, Vancouver, Canada
25-28 April 2022
3rd ABAC Meeting, 2022, TBC
4th ABAC Meeting, 2022, Bangkok, Thailand
28-31 October 2022