APEC Business Advisory Council | ABAC Philippines

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About ABAC
  • Mandate

    APEC Leaders, in 1995, established the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) tasked to provide private sector perspective towards achieving free and open trade and investments in the Asia Pacific region (Bogor goals). In 2020, Leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision, for an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community by 2040, for the prosperity of all our people and future generations.

    The Council had its first meeting and dialogue with the Leaders in 1996, when the Philippines first chaired APEC. Ambassador Roberto Romulo of the Philippines served as ABAC’s founding chairman.

    Every year, ABAC submits a Report to APEC Leaders which outlines key recommendations focused on regional economic integration. ABAC also engages with Ministers, especially those responsible for Trade, Finance, SME, Energy, Food Security, Health, and Women to address urgent challenges.

  • Structure

    ABAC is composed of three executives per economy, appointed by the respective President or Prime Minister, and their designated alternates. The members meet four times a year, one every quarter, each running 3-4 days.

    ABAC discusses its priorities under five working groups: (1) Regional Economic Integration, (2) Finance and Economics, (3) MSME and Inclusiveness, (4) Sustainability, and (5) Digital.

    As the voice of business in the region, ABAC provides advice to Leaders – recommending policy and regulatory reforms, as well as initiatives that would help achieve APEC Goals. This is essentially done at the ABAC Dialogue with Leaders which takes place during the Annual Economic Leaders Meeting.

    There is also a Dialogue with APEC Senior Officials during the first ABAC meeting of the year. ABAC reports to APEC officials every after ABAC meeting for updates and alignments.

  • Work Program

    ABAC 2023, under the chairmanship of the United States with the Theme: “Equity. Sustainability. Opportunity.” will focus on the following:

    Economic Integration Working Group: (1) Accelerating towards the realization of FTAAP; (2) Supporting the WTO and the rules-based multilateral trading system; (3) Improving trade resilience; and (4) Trade and sustainability.

    Sustainable Growth Working Group: (1) Promoting an effective response to climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy; (2) Advancing realistic energy transition towards low carbon in the region; and (3) Addressing efficient and sustainable processes across the food value chain.

    Digital and Innovation Working Group: (1) Strengthening cybersecurity; (2) Promoting coherent and interoperable digital identity systems; and (3) Facilitating cross-border data flows

    Finance Task Force: (1) Facilitating cross-border digital financial services; (2) Supporting just and affordable transition; (3) Financing sustainable innovation; (4) Promoting interoperable central bank digital currencies; and (5) Facilitating cross-border data flows in financial services.

    Inclusion Task Force: (1) Advancing women’s economic empowerment; (2) Engaging indigenous people in the economy; (3) Formalizing the informal economy; and (4) Bridging generations through economic engagement.

Tomas I. Alcantara

Is a Director of Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc., Alsons Development and Investment Corporation and Sarangani Agricultural Company, Inc.

Mr. Alcantara is also the Chairman of Holcim Philippines, Inc., and the Eagle Ridge Golf &  Country Club. He is a Trustee of the European IT Service Center Foundation and of the Foundation for Revenue Enhancement, and a Director of Philweb Corporation and DBP-Daiwa Capital Markets Phils., Inc.

Mr. Alcantara served as Undersecretary for the Industry & Investment Group of the Department of Trade and Industry, the Managing Head of the Board of Investments from July 1986 to March 1995, and the Special Envoy of the Philippine President to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 1996.

He also served as a Director of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (formerly Public Estate Authority) from 2003 to 2006 and Chairman of the Manila Economic & Cultural Office (MECO) from 2001 to 2010.

Joanne de Asis

Is Chairperson of Globe Capital Partners LLC, a private financial advisory and investment company that has been engaged in cross-border strategic alliances and investments since 1997. The company involves high-profile professionals globally. She is also Senior Advisor to Morgan Stanley where she started her career in 1977 in New York and worked up the corporate ladder both in New York and London. Her Wall Street career garnered her several international and local awards.

Ms. de Asis sits on several boards, locally and globally, including IISS in London; Annenberg Foundation at Sunnylands in California; and Walton’s Crystal Bridges in Arkansas. In 1999, she was chosen to be Grand Marshall, with then Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in the tri-state area representing Filipinos. She was Chairman of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce in New York City.

After a successful career abroad, she returned to the Philippines to open the representative office for Morgan Stanley where she is actively involved in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Some of the “under-the-radar” Philippine deals include Philippine Del Monte purchase of Del Monte USA; the largest investment into a Philippine institution (Security Bank) by a foreign bank (BTMU); and BDO purchase of GE Bank.

Sabin M. Aboitiz

Is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. He is the Chairman of the Board of SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, Aboitiz Land, Pilmico Foods Corporation, Filagri Holdings, Gold Coin Management Holdings Limited, Aboitiz Infracapital and Aboitiz Foundation.

Mr. Aboitiz was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as Lead Convenor of the Philippines' Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC). He is also President and Chairman of AEV Aviation, Inc., and serves as Director of Union Bank of the Philippines, Republic Cement & Building Materials, Aboitiz Construction, Apo Agua Infrastructura, Neptune Hydro, AboitizPower International Pte. Ltd, and Archipelago Insurance Pte. Ltd.

Aboitiz & Co. started as a hemp trading business in the late 1800s in Leyte province in the Philippines. With over 33 years in Aboitiz Group, he now heads the group which is one of the Philippines' leading businesses in power, banking and financial services, food, land, construction, and infrastructure. Aboitiz Group is recognized in the region for its best practices in corporate governance and inclusive business.

Francis Chua

Is the Founding Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Philippines (ICCP). He is also the Chair Emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCI) and Honorary President of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).

He has served as President to PCCI (2010-2011); The Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (2004-2006) and FFCCCII (2005-2007). In 2007, he was appointed as Special Envoy for Trade and Investments by the President of the Philippines.

He is the Chairman of the Board of Dongfeng Motors, Vice Chairman and Excom Chair of Bank of Commerce, Vice Chairman of Basic Energy, Founding Chairman of BA Securities Inc. and the Chairman and President of BA Group of Companies.

Dr. Chua is also a Director of the Philippine Stock Exchange, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Global Ferronickel Inc (FNI), Pan Pacific Energy and Bell Electronics, among others. He also leads the Honorary Commissioners Group of Tzu Chi Foundation.

He has been the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Peru in Manila since 2006.

Guillermo M. Luz

Is the Chairman of the Liveable Cities Challenge, a private sector initiative aimed at building city competitiveness as a key driver of growth and innovation. Prior to this, he was the private sector Co-Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council, a public-private body that develops strategies for Philippine competitiveness through policy reforms, project implementation, institution building, and performance monitoring.

He is Associate Director at Ayala Corporation, the holding company of one of the oldest and largest business groups in the Philippines, with interests in property development, banking and financial services, telecommunications, water infrastructure development and management, automotive dealership and distribution, business process outsourcing, electronics manufacturing solutions, and new investments in power and renewable energy, infrastructure, health, and education.

He is also the Chief Resilience Officer of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the country’s major private sector coordinator for disaster risk reduction management.

He was the Lead Coordinator for the Private Sector of the APEC National Organizing Council, in charge of preparations for the Philippines’ Chairmanship of APEC in 2015. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer of the APEC 2015 CEO Summit.