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Asia-Pacific Business Leaders Welcome Korean Official’s Strong Support for Current Global Trading System

APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Seoul, Republic of Korea | 27 April 2017

Members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), meeting in Seoul to prepare recommendations on business priorities for APEC Trade Ministers, welcomed comments by a senior Korean official on the role of APEC to chart the path towards freer trade in the face of the rise of protectionist measures.

Speaking last night during a welcome dinner H.E. Mr. Ahn Chong-ghee Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea said,

“We all know why free trade matters. Division of labor, comparative advantage, global value chains – these are straightforward concepts that have stood the test of time. History tells us that when economies trade, they are more productive and competitive, and enjoy more choices and higher living standards. APEC economies bear testament. Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, and ASEAN economies, have achieved unprecedented growth by becoming integrated into a free and open multilateral trading system.”

ABAC Members enthusiastically endorsed the Vice Minister’s call for APEC to continue to actively play a leading role in championing free trade. 


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 the Leaders in a dialogue that is a key event in the annual Leaders Meeting.

Under Viet Nam’s leadership, ABAC is pursuing a work programme under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering Shared Future” to respond to the challenge of maintaining the economic vitality of the Asia-Pacific Region and ensure it benefits all. There will be four tracks: deepening regional economic integration; achieving sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; enhancing MSMEs’ competitiveness and encouraging innovation in the digital era and ensuring food security and promoting sustainable and climate smart agriculture

ABAC 2017 co-chairs are David Toua and Juan Francisco Raffo, with five (5) working group chairs, namely: Sir Rod Eddington, Regional Economic Integration Working Group (REIWG); Richard Cantor, Finance & Economics Working Group (FEWG); Dato Rohana Mahmood, MSME & Entrepreneurship Working Group (MSMEEWG); Ning Gaoning, Sustainable Development Working Group; and Anthony Nightingale, Connectivity Working Group (CWG).

For further information please contact: 

Mr. Tran Thien Cuong, ABAC Executive Director 2017, Tel:  (84) 435742022 ext. 221

Email: [email protected]

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

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