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 2020, ABAC presented its recommendations to APEC Economic Leaders in relation to ABAC’s 2020 priorities of “Integration, Innovation, Inclusion and Sustainability.”
ABAC submitted its report to APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) in May 2021.
For more information about ABAC, please visit their website.
This year, ABAC adopted the theme “People, Place and Prosperity” (“Tāngata, Taiao, me te Taurikura”).
The 2021 work program will focus on the following priorities:
- Advancing social and economic progress
- Promoting indigenous economic development
- Enhancing women’s participation in trade
- Building MSME capabilities
- Adopting principles for climate change leadership
- Developing a framework for renewable energy transition and trade
- Levelling the playing field for environmentally responsible production and trade
- Creating a sustainable, inclusive, digitally enhanced and trade-friendly APEC food system
- Supporting the rules-based trading system
- Working to realize the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)
- Building an enabling environment for digital technology
- Rebuilding and revitalizing economies
Detailed recommendations will be developed over the course of 2021 on the priorities identified in the work program. ABAC's recommendations will be conveyed to APEC governments through a range of avenues including through APEC senior officials, trade, SME, and finance ministers and directly to APEC Economic Leaders at the annual dialogue.
1st ABAC Meeting - Wellington, New Zealand
9 FEBRUARY 2021
2nd ABAC Meeting - Wellington, New Zealand
11 MAY 2021
3rd ABAC Meeting - Wellington, New Zealand
3 AUGUST 2021
4th ABAC Meeting - Wellington, New Zealand
10 NOVEMBER 2021