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.

Anthony Patrick Chua
Lead Staffer
Erin Gaile Tabangcura
Frabelle Tan
Bey de Castro